WASHINGTON -- Democrat Mark Warner has taken the lead in a razor-thin race with Republican Ed Gillespie for the U.S. Senate in Virginia.
Gillespie held the lead for most of Tuesday evening as votes continued to trickle in from precincts across the state. Tallies from voter-rich Fairfax and Virginia Beach helped boost Warner over his challenger.
As of Wednesday afternoon with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Mark Warner held 49 percent of the vote compared to Gillespie's 48 percent. Libertarian Robert Sarvis garnered 2 percent of the vote.
Warner, a popular former governor, was expected to ward off Gillespie's challenge. Gillespie is the former chair of the Republican National Committee and a GOP strategist.
Although Warner gave a victory speech late Tuesday night, Gillespie didn't concede and said he would wait to see what Wednesday would bring. But the gap has widened as votes continued to trickle in.
Candidates may request a recount if the vote is within 1 percent in Virginia.
Gillespie ran neck and neck with Warner on a night that Republicans across the country snapped up enough seats to win control of the U.S. Senate and that saw a Republican win the Maryland governor's race.
On Wednesday, Gillespie's campaign says that they will be watching the post-election canvassing of results closely, the next step before the votes can be certified by the state board of elections. Any recount request would come after certification.
"We were outspent two-to-one and yet the most recent unofficial tally has us separated by less than a percentage point out of more than two million votes cast," Gillespie said in a statement. " It was an honor to run, and I will respect the decision reached by Virginia’s voters.”
Meanwhile, the Warmer campaign is confident that the Democrat will return to the U.S. Senate.
Warner's veteran recount lawyer Marc Elias called the margin "close but not small."
Regardless of the outcome, Gillespie's involvement in Virginia politics is likely not over. His showing against one of the state's most popular lawmakers has already put him at the top of the list for possible gubernatorial candidates in 2017.
Northern Virginia voters chose Republican Barbara Comstock to fill the seat of outgoing Congressman Frank Wolf, her former boss.
Comstock, a state delegate, bested Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust and three other candidates to represent the 10th District.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Comstock received more than 125,800 votes for 56.6 percent of the total vote. Foust raked in more than 89,800 votes for 40.4 percent of the vote. William Redpath, Libertarian, got more than 3,300 votes for 1.5 percent, Independent Brad Eickholt received more than 2,400 votes for 1.1 percent and Independent Green Dianne Blais got 944 for .4 percent of the total vote.
Wolf did not seek re-election in the district that stretches from McLean to Winchester. Comstock won 57 percent of votes, according to unofficial election results.
Elsewhere in Virginia, Republican Dave Brat, who unseated former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor during the spring primary, will represent the 7th District in Congress.
Brat beat fellow Randolph-Macon College professor Jack Trammell to represent a district that stretches from Culpeper County to Henrico County.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Brat had 60.9 percent of the votes compared to Trammell's 36.9 percent and Libertarian James Carr's 2.2. percent.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Beyer got 63 percent of the votes in the heavily Democratic district, besting Republican Micah Edmond, who got 31 percent of the vote.
Congressman Gerry Connolly won 56.9 percent of votes to serve another two-year term, according to unofficial election results. The Democrat faced three challengers including Republican Suzanne Scholte who got 40.4 percent of the votes.
For the first time since 1983 a non-Democrat has been elected to the Arlington County Board. Former Republican, now independent, John Vihstadt handily beat Republican Alan Howze.
Vihstadt got 56 percent of the vote compared to Howze's 44 percent.
They faced off in a special election in April for a seat vacated by board member Chris Zimmerman and Vihstadt won that race 57 percent to 41 percent in April.
Vihstadt is a vocal opponent of the Columbia Pike streetcar project and the race was a referendum on the fate of the project.
With Vihstadt's selection to a full four-year term, three board members support the streetcar and two are against. The board has approved funding to pay for preliminary design work.
Fairfax County voters approved a $100 million bond referendum to pay for sidewalk, crosswalk and bicycle improvements. It's part of a larger transportation package board members approved in the spring.
To view more local Virginia election results, click here.
District of Columbia
D.C. voters chose Councilwoman Muriel Bowser to serve as the city's next mayor.
Bowser, a Democrat, earned 55 percent of the votes, according to unofficial election results. Republicans-turned-independent David Catania and Carol Schwartz took 36 percent and 7 percent respectively.
Bowser beat incumbent Vince Gray in the spring primary.
Voters also approved, by large margins, a ballot measure that would legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
And Karl Racine is the first separately elected attorney general in the District. He won more than 40 percent of the vote.
Through Tuesday night, Republican Larry Hogan maintained a sizable lead ahead of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who was expected to easily win the race and succeed Gov. Martin O'Malley in the heavily Democratic state.
Behind by 92,000 votes as of midnight, Brown took to the podium to concede the race telling Hogan that governing is hard work and that he wished the governor-elect luck.
Hogan got 53.8 percent of the vote compared to Brown's 44.8 percent.
Brown tapped Democrat superstars Michelle and Barack Obama plus Bill and Hillary Clinton to give his campaign a boost. Hogan turned to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Hogan focused his message on the state's tax burden and attacked Brown for the bungled roll out of the states' health exchange website, which Brown oversaw.
Republican candidates for governor swept races in other states.
To view more local Maryland results, click here.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden is pitching an Election Day get-out-the-vote message on talk radio. Biden is promoting the Obama administration's economic agenda to listeners in crucial Senate and governor race battlegrounds.
Biden spoke to stations Tuesday morning in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and in the Quad Cities area on the Iowa and Illinois border.Read more on WTOP.com.
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AP Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Public campaigning gave way to the privacy of the voting booth Tuesday with control of the Senate, the makeup of the House and three dozen governorships at stake.
President Barack Obama, his approval ratings low, was not on the ballot midway through his second term. But even he said his policies were, and Republicans rushed to agree.
"The president's policies have just flat-out failed," House Speaker John Boehner said Monday, campaigning for a 13th term in Congress and hoping for two more years as top House leader. He and other Republicans vowed to change Obama's policies, but have offered little in the way of specifics.
Read more on WTOP.com.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A look at the news, events and the stories to watch for on Election Day:
-ALL EYES ON THE SENATE
-CAN DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR BUCK THE GOP TREND?
-REPUBLICANS LOOK TO MAKE HISTORIC GAINS IN THE HOUSE
-TECHNOLOGY'S IMPACT ON TURNOUT
Read more about each on WTOP.com.
Midterm elections: 18.6 million votes already cast
ATLANTA (AP) -- More than 18.6 million Americans in 32 states already have cast ballots in the nation's midterm elections, a significant increase over the 2010 early voting, according to data from state elections officials.
Get a look at where some states with key races stand this year on WTOP.com.
Hot races, big stakes on midterm election ballot
Above all else, what's at stake in Tuesday's midterm elections is control of the U.S. Senate.
That, in turn, will shape the fate of President Barack Obama's agenda for the rest of his term. And everything else that Congress wants to do, or stop from getting done.
Read a rundown of what's at stake on Election Day on WTOP.com.
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The midterm slugfest for control of the U.S. Senate could have far-reaching effects on the economy.
Tuesday's elections come just as U.S. growth has been showing consistent improvement, thanks in part to a congressional truce on budget fights. Previous such fights shut down the government and raised the specter of a default on the federal debt. A repeat of either could quickly damage the economic recovery.
If Democrats retain control of the Senate, the cease-fire may hold, analysts say. But it's possible it could dissolve with a takeover that gives Republicans control of both chambers and potentially emboldens them to intensify conflicts with a lame-duck Democratic White House.
Republicans already control the House and are expected to maintain and even expand their majority in that chamber.Read more on WTOP.com.
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