Senate Race Called for Warner, Gade Refuses to Concede

.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left, gestures during a debate with Republican challenger Daniel Gade, right, at a television studio Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By Brian Carlton

November 4, 2020

Race one of a select few to actually be called on Tuesday night. Several others still remain unsettled.

ALEXANDRIA-U.S. Senator Mark Warner stood in front of a crowd of supporters Tuesday night, thanking them for sending him back to Washington. His challenger Daniel Gade stood in front of a similar group, refusing to concede. 

With 91% of the vote counted, Mark Warner held 55.6% to Gade’s 44.4%. With just 9% of ballots still to be counted, all in Democratic strongholds like Fairfax and Loudon counties, the race was called for Warner Tuesday night. 

“I’m incredibly proud and grateful to the people of the Commonwealth for sending me back,” Warner told a crowd in Alexandria. Speaking alongside his family and fellow Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Warner said that he’s heard what Virginians want and it’s for Congress to get its act together. 

“In order to get the economy going again, we have to get the virus under control,” Warner said. “And that means, as Joe Biden has said, we have to let the science set the policy. Until there’s a vaccine, we need to be focused on measures that will stop the spread of the virus.”

That means wearing masks, Warner said. It means actually voting on a COVID-19 relief package in Congress to help people. 

Beyond fighting the virus, Warner told the crowd the U.S. needs to take another step toward building back better. But to do that, they have to become united. It means ending constant attacks on people of different political parties. 

“We’ve got to stop the name calling and start the healing,” Warner said. 

Meanwhile, Warner’s opponent Daniel Gade said he wouldn’t concede the race. The American University professor, who was seriously injured in 2005 while serving in combat, felt it was worth waiting to see what the number would be when all ballots are counted. He also labeled the Associated Press as fake news for a decision they made earlier in the night. In a truly odd situation, the AP called the race for Warner less than 10 minutes after the polls closed. No reasoning was ever given by AP officials, only that they projected Warner as the winner. 

“Just like I conceded nothing in combat, just like I conceded nothing in the hospital, and just like all of us conceded nothing this entire race, I concede nothing and I’m coming for you, Mark Warner,” Gade said in a video posted to his Twitter account. 

Other races remain undecided

The Senate race was one of a select few to be called on Tuesday night. Many races throughout Virginia still remain unsettled today. 

In U.S. House District 7, Republican Nick Freitas was nearly tied with Democratic incumbent Abigail Spanberger. That’s not a joke. Freitas finished the night with 199,786 votes to Spanberger’s 199,513. There’s still 14% of ballots to be counted in that race, which made headlines due to the sheer amount of money being spent in it. Different groups spent more than $11 million on ads in the race. By comparison, presidential candidates only spent $9 million in Virginia. This marks Spanberger’s first re-election campaign, after she beat Republican David Brat in 2018. 

Also officially uncalled is the U.S. House District 5 battle between Republican Bob Good and Democrat Cameron Webb. As of early Wednesday morning, Good held 53.6% of the vote to Webb’s 46.4%. But Webb and his campaign staff said any ballots still out couldn’t make up the difference, so he conceded the race. 

“While this is not the outcome we hoped for, it has truly been an honor to run to represent this district in Congress,” Webb said in a statement posted to his Twitter page. “This campaign has been a battle of ideas about how to best serve the people of our district and I cannot give enough thanks to everyone who made it possible.” 

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