Republican Ed Gillespie has conceded the Virginia Senate race to Democrat Mark Warner.
Gillespie told reporters early Friday afternoon that he had called Warner to congratulate him.
“In my head and in my heart, I know that a change in outcome is not possible,” he said. “The numbers just aren’t there, and it’s time to accept the decision of my fellow Virginians.”
The close race turned out to be one of the midterm election’s biggest surprises.
The surprisingly strong showing by Gillespie has fueled speculation that he could run again for statewide office.
Warner released the following statement:
“Earlier today, Ed Gillespie called to inform me that he would be conceding the election, and I commended him on a hard-fought campaign and wish him and his family well. I am sure Ed Gillespie will continue to contribute to the debate in Virginia and the nation.
“Representing Virginia has been the honor of my life, and I am gratified that the people of the Commonwealth have rehired me for a new term. On Tuesday, Virginians sent an unmistakable message both to me and Congress as a whole: end the gridlock and get to work.
“I will spend every day working to get the Senate back in the business of solving problems and not simply scoring political points. I will work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, to shake-up this dysfunctional Congress and move us toward common ground. Fixing our nation’s balance sheet remains a top priority of mine, and I believe tackling our $17 trillion debt demands thoughtful action before sequestration budget cuts come rushing back next year.
“It is time to show the American people that we can govern responsibly.”