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Fimian concedes defeat to Connolly

By Ben Pershing

Republican Keith Fimian has released a statement conceding defeat in the 11th Congressional District race against Rep. Gerald Connolly (D).

Connolly leads Fimian by 981 votes -- or .4 percent of all votes cast -- according to the Virginia state board of elections site. That margin entitles Fimian to ask for a recount after state election officials certify the results Nov. 22, but operatives from both parties who monitored the vote-counting process in the week since Election Day said they saw no glaring flaws in the numbers, and no clear path that would enable Fimian to make up the difference in a recount.

Fimian's full statement after the jump.

Statement from Keith Fimian on Election Results

After much discussion with friends and supporters, I have decided not to pursue a recount and not to further investigate possible discrepancies in the election results. Therefore I congratulate Congressman Connolly on his victory and send him good wishes as he moves forward to do the people's business. For me, today is the end of this campaign.

The past year has been a terrific experience and I am better off for having gone through it. I want to thank my family, my supporters and my friends, old and new, for standing with me throughout the campaign. I believe the Commonwealth of Virginia and our nation are better off for the issues that were debated.

From the start of my campaign to this day, I believe the major issues facing America are our economy and the out-of-control spending and mountains of debt that our government is leaving for future generations. While I fell short in the election result, it is clear that the people of Northern Virginia, and across America, share my concerns and want their elected representatives to address those concerns.
For myself, I look forward to spending time with my family and growing my company.

The election in Virginia's 11th congressional district was one of the closest in the nation. Over 220,000 votes were cast, and less than 1,000 votes separate the two candidates. Under Virginia law, I can request a recount after November 22. The Commonwealth of Virginia will conduct another canvass of the election results before that. If the results change significantly, I hold open the option of revisiting my decision.

Many of my friends and supporters have asked me to contest the race to the legal limit. The decision not to seek a recount is not one that I have made lightly. On one hand, it is fundamental to the very integrity of our government that every voter has faith that their vote was counted. Elections like this one are precisely why we have a recount law in the first place. Politicians and others who claim victory prematurely disregard the law governing Virginia's elections and our rights under it.

On the other hand, over the past several days I have been reviewing the election returns closely. A recount only seeks to arrive at an accurate tally of all votes cast. In our race, we have not seen any obvious errors in the results. And while we believe that there are a small number of ballots containing votes that have not yet been counted, we are confident based on the canvass that it is not enough to change the outcome of this contest.

To be clear, a recount would not take into consideration any issues relating to the fair conduct of the election, such as problems with the touch screen voting machines or long lines due to broken voting equipment. To pursue those issues would be even longer, more drawn out and more expensive. While all of these issues potentially could affect the result of the election it is by no means clear that, even in the aggregate under the most favorable of circumstances, they would change the outcome.

I want to thank the Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Prince William County Republican committees for their fantastic efforts on my behalf. I also want to thank local electoral boards and election officers for all of their efforts. I am appreciative of their work to ensure every vote cast was counted accurately and fairly.

Finally, I want to especially thank all of my supporters again for everything they have done. I am deeply humbled and truly honored to have had such dedicated and unwavering support from so many over the course of this campaign. I will forever be grateful.

By Ben Pershing  | November 9, 2010; 11:57 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian, Winners and Losers  
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Comments

I have to say, I was very disappointed in ALL of the candidates' campaigns this year. Rather than saying what they have accomplished in their political careers, they merely bashed the other candidate. It doesn't tell the voters much about their positions on the issues or their ideas for improving the current economic woes. I hadn't heard of Mr. Fimian before this election, and he may be a viable Republican force in the future, but he struck me as rather weasily. Maybe it was just his on-camera demeanor, but he exuded a sneaky officiousness.

Posted by: OMG1 | November 9, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

...and Mr. Connolly resembles a comic opera villain; there: neither candidate was born for the camera. But then come to think of it neither was Abraham Lincoln; well, I guess look don't signify, do they?
Aside from that, I agree with OMG1 - Mr. Connolly's predilections could be discerned from his voting record, while Mr. Fimian remains something of a cypher. But *say* what they will, I try to only pay attention to what politician *do*, and having done so, both parties have keenly disappointed me.

Posted by: jlm656 | November 9, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the republicans should run someone else next time? Instead of the republicans getting rid of Tom Davis maybe they should have kept him.

Posted by: charlie-Imac | November 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

LOL, jlm, I never thought of that, but Connelly is rather Snidely Whiplash-ish with that 'stache of his. I will paraphrase one of Judge Judy's comments about teenagers: How can you tell when politicians are lying? When their mouths are moving! I guess when you have a choice of candidates, one you know and one you don't know, you pick the one you know. At least you've got an idea of the scope of havoc that will be wreaked. The unknown might be better, but woe to everyone if the unknown turns out to be worse. It's always safer to pet the dog you know:)

Posted by: OMG1 | November 9, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

How sorry do you have to be to run as a Republican candidate in a Confederate state during a Republican wave with a black President in office and lose. This guy can't be elected to any office evidently.

Posted by: DougH1 | November 9, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fimian is a class act. I am very proud to have supported him.
He showed great courage in pushing forward, despite the fact that thanks to gerrymandering, he was running in a very liberal district in which even his own county committee chairman endorsed his primary opponent.

Meanwhile, Mr. Connolly did a great job of avoiding issues and facts, and combined with an onslaught of personal attacks, managed to squeak out a win by less than 1/2 half of one percent. A proud day for all Democrats!

Regarding vote recounts, Democrats proved once again why they are such a bunch of hypocrites. I recall in 2000, how Democrats
cried and screamed about the importance of voters rights and legal voting, yet when stories surfaced about votes not being counted in this election in Fairfax county, all Mr Connolly and his gang could do is claim victory before all votes had been counted and bad mouth Keith Fimian.

So sensible people in Fairfax county who do not vote for unethical people like Connolly will go another two year with a congressman they cannot respect of trust.

However, the good news is this...

Connolly's vote is congress is not worth a dime since the GOP
controls the House. His spending spree is coming to an end!


Mr. Connolly also owes a big thank you to The Post, Channel 8, and the Connection papers whose biased reporting can always be counted on.

Posted by: fairfaxgoper | November 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Read what Connolly said today after Fimian conceded

Connolly bristled at the notion he had barely survived the tidal wave of support that turned control of the House of Representatives over to Republicans Connolly said.

With that in mind, Connolly said the closeness of the margin will have no impact on how he votes.

"I got elected for my judgment. I'm not afraid to cast an unpopular vote. Running away from your positions is no way to win an election."


Running away from your positions is no way to win an election?
Your Judgement? LOL Man, I think this guy is more removed from reality than Obama is. Maybe they gave him some really good drugs at the Hospital last weekend.

You have got to be kidding me, that is all he does!

NO impact on how he votes- that is not a surprise.

What an arrogant classless jerk!

Good Gerry, just dump on 49% of your constituency. Unbelievable!
For those of you independents duped by this liar, shame on you!


Posted by: fairfaxgoper | November 9, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance.

"Mr Fimian, if your daughter was raped and got pregnant from that attack, would you force her to carry the baby to term?"

He said yes. Go, oh my God, crawl back under your rock, you disgusting man.

Posted by: chunche | November 9, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing loss. Mr. Fimian, make sure you stay active and come back out to challenge Mr. Connolly in 2012.

Posted by: 50Eagle | November 9, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing loss. Mr. Fimian, make sure you stay active and come back out to challenge Mr. Connolly in 2012.

Posted by: 50Eagle | November 9, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

What a shame, Connolly is really a slime ball and extremely corrupt.

Posted by: fury60 | November 9, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Voters in the 11th district really screwed the pooch on this one.

Fimian may not have been the charismatic leader that we'd all have liked, but he should have been given a chance.

Connolly is a despicable, lying carpetbagger - the penultimate lap-dog for Pelosi.

As Czabin would say, "Good Gawd".

Posted by: AWWNats | November 9, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank God. The negative ads from both of them drove me nuts! Now... if only Joe Miller can take a page from Mr. Fimian.

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | November 9, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

GOOD RIDDANCE.

Posted by: Airborne82 | November 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Gerry Connolly a carpetbagger? Do you know what a carpetbagger is? I think not, otherwise how can you call someone who has lived in his district for more than 30 years a carpetbagger? How long has Fimian lived in the district?

Posted by: sensible | November 9, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is that people on this blog have no respect for anyone. Names, appearance, abortion views. None of that has a thing to do with being a competent servant of the people. We don't have to agree and I personally think Mr. Connelly is not the right person to lead but I base it on the issues not because as others have called him "a hybrid woodchuck/meercat looking something or another." That is not right.

Posted by: doyouktt | November 9, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

fairfaxgoper:


"Mr. Connolly also owes a big thank you to The Post, Channel 8, and the Connection papers whose biased reporting can always be counted on."

It's always somebody else's fault with you guys isn't it?

It's not that your side has an unpopular candidate or an unpopular position - it's that there's always a conspiracy out there, duping the masses into uniting against the conservatives.

I'm not saying the progressives don't do the same thing but conservatives have turned conspiracy theories into a cottage industry.

I wish you guys would come up out of the basement and stop telling each other scarey stories in the dark.

Grow up for cryin' out loud.

. . . oh that's right . . .

. . . it's tactics.

Posted by: palmtree2001 | November 9, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fimian and many of his supporters ran on the tea party platform of reduce government, roll back financial and health reform and turn over the reigns of oversight power to big business.

In addition to opposing a woman's right to choose whether to bear children even if raped and apparently thinking it is a good idea to allow students to "pack heat" at Virginia state universities. This is crazy talk and I think Fimian is smart enough to know it too.

After pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars in his own campaign and pandering to the far right, Mr. Fimian still can't push his way into the Congress.

Fairfax County voters rejected this guy and appropriately so.

Posted by: fairfax66 | November 9, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Gerry "Tax and Spend" Connolly's comment that he's not afraid to cast an unpopular vote is a huge joke. Connolly voted with Nancy Pelosi 97% time....maybe he meant that he was saying that he loved San Francisco syle liberal politics.

Posted by: priveye | November 10, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Connolly is crooked as a corkscrew. I'd order a recount in a New York second..

Posted by: wewintheylose | November 10, 2010 3:50 AM | Report abuse

I am an Officer of Election (poll-worker) in the City of Fairfax, but I did not participate in this last election. The 11th District spans Fairfax City and parts of Fairfax and Prince William Counties. The City uses touch-screen electronic voting machines. Fairfax County uses a mix of optical scan and touch-screen. Prince William uses optical scan for absentee, and touch-screen for normal voting.

For the touch-screen machines, a recount consists of opening the sealed, printed reports generated by the machines, and re-reading them. For optical scan, a recount is done by re-running the ballots. (The procedure is covered in Virginia Code section 24.2-802. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-802)

A recount only counts ballots that have been accepted, that is, successfully processed by a voting machine. Ballots rejected for whatever reason (and there are many), are not included in a recount. Problems with rejected ballots are handled in a separate process.

As an informed outsider, I think Fimian made the right call here. Given the universal use of electronic voting machines in the precincts, I don't think a recount will change the totals enough to matter. I can assure everyone that Fairfax City runs an extremely tight ship when it comes to voting procedures. I have a lot of confidence that our electronic counts are accurate and fair.

Fimian should get some credit for not spending the taxpayer's money unnecessarily. Since his margin is under one-half of a percent, he is legally entitled to a recount paid at the taxpayer's expense.

Posted by: dmarney | November 10, 2010 4:47 AM | Report abuse

Pat Herrity 50.01
Gerry Connolly 49.99

That is what would have could have and should have happened. But...... Money talks.

Posted by: doyouktt | November 10, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse


Mr. Connolly also owes a big thank you to The Post, Channel 8, and the Connection papers whose biased reporting can always be counted on.
Posted by: fairfaxgoper | November 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse


Hahahaha! That's a laugh. The Post is becoming more like a GOP promo machine now that they are being run by the Wall Street Journal crowd. But if it were true that the post only supports 'liberal candidates' and only tells their side of the story, how, may I ask, would that be any different that what Fox Noise does for the republicans? Hmmmmm?

Posted by: dlpetersdc | November 10, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

First, good call by Mr, Fimian. This is a tactically wise move, and one that might pay off next election, if he runs. Of course, it's offset by the horridly biased, negative campaign ads run by both sides, but it's still a plus.

Second, Rep. Connelly is right. Whether or not he has the "mandate of the voters" (what the heck does that mean? No candidate ever gets an overwhelming majority of votes), he is describing the underlying, and wise, purpose of a democratically elected republic. We choose officials based on whether we generally agree with their views and competence, then it's their job to study the issues and vote their conscience, not be a rubber stamp for a (generally) poorly-informed public.

It's like those patients who try to tell their doctors what medicine they should take based on infomercials. Sure - it's possible that a well-studied patient can have meaningful input to a doctor, but generally, it's just egotistical stupidity. If at the end of their term, you think that your representative isn't competent, then vote the *$&#^$ out - but why folks think that spending two hours studying some issue (or, heaven help us, relying on "common sense") makes them more informed than a rep with a staff that spend time every day studying issues is typical of us, but not exactly the best way to do business. Thank you, founders, for avoiding the idea of a true democracy!

Posted by: iamweaver | November 10, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Amazing, there is a politician, Keith Fimian, who not only knows what is right, but he lays it out for us, in the context of our law, with elegance and precision! Then he steps up to wear it so we see how perfectly it fits the situation.
There is prime governor material in that man!

We citizens can go so far as to support the election's lawful integrity by invoking Gov. McDonnell's obligation. Please check "TRUE-the-VOTE-in-VIRGINIA – A Petition Invoking the Governor's Obligation - A WORK IN PROGRESS' at http://www.resistnet.com/group/virginiaresistance/forum/topics/truethevoteinvirginia-a

Posted by: Russell_P_Davis | November 10, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

How many of you self-righteous Connolly supporters actually attended any events and met the candidates in person? How many of you bothered to follow the voting record of Mr. Connolly before endorsing him? Not many, by the ignorance of these comments. Keith Fimian has actually run a successful business here in Fairfax County and understands what makes an economy run. Connolly lives in his Beltway Bubble and has no idea what we small business owners are facing here.

Nice going, VA-11. You have just made it that much harder for us job creators to hire your sons and daughters. We have no idea what our taxes will be in 2011, 2012 or beyond. We have no idea what it will cost to insure our employees. We have no idea if we'll be able to survive under Mr. Connolly's Tax-the-so-called-rich class warfare schemes.

You Democrats blew it. For all of us.

Posted by: VaMom4 | November 10, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

VaMom4, I have met both candidates, personally. It's my job as a voter to do so.

But I admit that having known Rep. Connolly when he ran things here in Fairfax, I already know his lack of "inside the beltway" mentality that you so incorrectly trumpet. He ran a tight, no-nonsense ship, and certainly made his share of enemies, but he never backed away from tough decisions. If you really believe that Rep. Connolly has "no idea" what small business owners face, then you must be ignorant of his tenure locally.

Posted by: iamweaver | November 10, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

As the Fairfax County Supervsior...the only thing Gerry Connolly did well was raise taxes. Man....Gerry baby rocked when it came to hitting my wallet!

Posted by: priveye | November 10, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

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