A close and very expensive race for Virginia's vacant Senate seat came to a close late Tuesday night.
Democrat Tim Kaine celebrated his close victory with supporters in Richmond. He beat out Republican George Allen by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent.
The race made news as the most expensive congressional campaign in the country, with close to $81 million spent by campaigns and independent groups. Tuesday night, as he celebrated his overall victory, Kaine also declared victory over outside spending.
"Our victory tonight proves that it's the number of people who stand with you, not the number of zeros behind a check that decide elections in the United States of America," he said.
Kaine replaces Democrat Jim Webb in the U.S. Senate. He will be sworn in January in Washington, where he will serve alongside friend and fellow Virginia Democrat Mark Warner.
George Allen Press Office Statement on Election Results
George Allen released the following statement in response to the November 2012 election results:
"Tonight, after a hard-fought contest, we have been reminded how closely divided our state is politically. I am still glad we got off the sidelines and into the fight in this pivotal election – advocating for the voices of Virginians. I want to thank God for the love of my life, Susan, who worked tirelessly throughout the Commonwealth to share our positive message for America's Comeback. And I thank God for our wonderful children—Tyler, Forrest and Brooke. We have never worked harder to motivate and inspire people for specific reforms to restore the American Dream. And thank you to the thousands of energetic volunteers throughout Virginia who gave their time, talents & treasure to support our cause.
"We sought to reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit of America, so we can get our economy growing again – creating jobs with a competitive tax system, reasonable regulations, productive energy policies and empowering education. We offered a positive, pro-job growth, pro-Freedom path to fiscal responsibility for our nation and a federal government that lives within its means again. We called for keeping America's Armed Services strong because the way to preserve the peace is to preserve our strength. And we called for unleashing the tremendous economic potential of our plentiful American energy resources from our Coalfields to the coast.
"Most important of all, we called upon America to renew our historic commitment to individual Freedom, personal responsibility and the opportunity for every American to succeed.
People want government off our backs, out of our pockets and by our side.
"These ideas did not prevail in this Senate contest here in Virginia, but if America is to have the Comeback that we all hope for, they must prevail in our nation as a whole. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month, maybe not next year — but they must prevail, because they are rooted in the great historic fundamental principles of Virginia and America. And these principles and ideas are our hope for the future.
"And I pledge my best efforts as a private citizen to advocate the positive ideals and principles we all believe in. My hope is that you will keep the faith, keep working, and always stay strong for Freedom!"
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell Press Release
Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement tonight regarding Tim Kaine's election to the United States Senate.
"I want to congratulate Tim Kaine on his election to the United States Senate. Tim and I are from different parties, but we've always worked well together. I consider him a friend. While we may disagree on specific issues, we both agree that our foremost responsibility as elected officials, who have been honored with the public trust, is to find areas of common ground and identify solutions to the challenges facing this Commonwealth and this country. That is what we will now do moving forward. When Tim was Governor, I served as Attorney General. We worked together well. And I know we will continue to work together well over the next year, for the good of Virginia and America.
I also want to applaud my great friend George Allen for the positive and ideas-oriented campaign that he ran. George ran for the Senate because he truly loves Virginia and America. His record speaks to that deep and abiding passion. As Governor he reformed welfare, grew Virginia's economy, strengthened academic standards in our schools and abolished parole. The result was a safer, stronger and more prosperous Commonwealth. As a Senator he was a strong voice for Virginia in Washington, always looking out for the people of this state. He would have been a great champion for Virginia in the United States Senate in the years ahead. Tonight, I wish George and Susan the very best moving forward. I know it's not easy to lose a close race. But I sincerely hope that George will stay involved in public policy and government in the years ahead. We need his voice, his ideas and his tremendous enthusiasm and optimism in the national conversation."
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science.Full Story
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story