Clean Sweep

Mark HerringMark Herring’s statistically miniscule edge over Mark Obenshain in the attorney general race grew to 163 votes Tuesday evening as a midnight deadline approached for localities to finish counting ballots and report their tallies to the state.

That updated count came after the Fairfax County Electoral Board finished tabulating provisional ballots, leading several Democrats to declare Herring victorious after a week of fluctuating returns since last Tuesday’s too-close-to-call election.

(Fairfax’s numbers were widely reported Tuesday evening on Twitter, leading several people to declare Herring victorious, though they had not posted to the State Board of Elections web site as of 9:45 p.m.)

Herring was similarly emphatic about the outcome Tuesday night: “The margin was close, but it is clear that Virginians have chosen me to serve as the next Attorney General.”

“Today we begin the process of governing. I look forward to working with Virginians from all regions and all background, Democrats, Independents and Republicans to move our Commonwealth forward,” he added.

Obenshain, a Harrisonburg Republican, at one point had a roughly 1,200 vote lead that slowly vanished amid post-election canvasses in places such as Fairfax and Richmond.

Subject to a possible recount, the 2013 election will mark the first time since 1969 that all five statewide offices will be held by Democrats.

Pilot on Politics