Democrat squeaks out victory in Virginia attorney general race

RICHMOND, Virginia Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:32pm EST

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RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Virginia's State Board of Elections certified Democratic state Senator Mark Herring on Monday as the winner of a hotly contested race for attorney general by the narrowest of margins.

Herring defeated Republican state Senator Mark Obenshain by 165 votes, or about 0.007 percent out of more than 2.2 million votes cast statewide in the November 5 election, official results showed.

Obenshain said in a statement that he would be considering whether to ask for a recount. Virginia law allows him 10 days to make the request.

"This initial count shows the narrowest percent vote differential of any U.S. statewide race in the 21st century, and the closest statewide election in modern Virginia history," Obenshain said in a statement.

Herring said in a statement that the race was "close but fair."

His victory gives Democrats a sweep in statewide elections. Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe won the closely watched governor's race and state Senator Ralph Northam took the lieutenant governorship.

(Reporting by Gary Robertson; editing by Ian Simpson and Leslie Adler)

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