The U.S. Senate race in Virginia lived up to its reputation going into Tuesday's election, as being a tight race between two former governors.
Final unofficial results around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday showed Tim Kaine with 51.89 percent of the state vote to Republican challenger George Allen's 47.92 percent of the vote across Virginia.
Kaine won by comfortable margins in Northern Virginia jurisdictions, defeating Allen 71.40 percent to 28.42 percent in Falls Church; 60.53 percent to 39.01 percent in Fairfax County; and 65.83 to 33.86 percent in Arlington County, according to the State Board of Elections.
As of 1:33 a.m. Wednesday, all precincts in the state had reported their results.
Update 11:21 p.m.: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell congratulated Tim Kaine's win Tuesday night.
"I want to congratulate Tim Kaine on his election to the United States Senate," McDonnell, a Republican, said in a statement. "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."
"I also want to applaud my great friend George Allen for the positive and ideas-oriented campaign that he ran," McDonnell said. "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."
Update 11:16 p.m. "It's a great night to be a Virginian," a jubilant Tim Kaine told supporters Tuesday night in Richmond, acknowledging his reported win of the U.S. Senate seat in Virginia.
"Here's what it means folks, here is what it means. Our victory tonight proves that its the number of people that stand with you not the number of zeros behind the check."
Kaine promised to make "fiscally responsible choices to reduce our deficit," while keeping the economy strong and "not shredding [the country's] safety net."
"Let me take a moment to recognize my opponent George Allen," Kaine said. He recognized both George and his wife Susan, as "effective campaigners." He noted they are both former governors "who share a deep, deep love of this Commonwealth and this country."
Update 11:04 p.m.: Tim Kaine is expected to speak to supporters soon at the Marriott hotel in Richmond. Democrats at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons cheered as they heard unofficial news about Kaine's win prior to Allen's concession speech.
Update 10:54 p.m.: George Allen conceded the Senate race Tuesday night just before 11 p.m. in Richmond to Democrat Tim Kaine. Allen gave a speech thanking friends, family and supporters at the Omni hotel in Richmond.
"It has been a long and difficult campaign but it has also been a joyful one," Allen said.
Referring to the ideals he ran on, Allen said "these ideas, these principles must prevail" because they are rooted in Virginia's constitution.
Allen conceded the race before all precincts were reported.
Update 10:46 p.m.: Complete results for the U.S. Senate race are still not in from all precincts in these Northern Virginia cities and counties: from Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Prince William County.
Update 10:40 a.m.: Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (Dranesville) said he was not surprised by the unofficial news that CBS is calling the Senate race for Kaine, as the winner of the Virginia Senate race.
"Of all the politicians I know, Tim Kaine is the nicest gentleman," Foust said, going on to say Connolly is in this for all the right reasons. "I think the world of Tim Kaine."
Update 10:30 p.m. According to WTOP, former Governor Tim Kaine is scheduled to speak to supporters at 10:45 p.m.
Update 10:15 p.m.: No official news yet, but CBS is calling the race for Tim Kaine. The state Board of Elections shows that George Allen has 49.56 percent of the vote and Kaine has 50.25 percent of the vote with results from 2,112 of 2,588 precincts.
Update 9:15 p.m.: With 1,626 of Virginia's 2,588 precincts accounted for, the current vote is George Allen: 51.14 percent to Tim Kaine's 48.71 percent, according to the State Board of Elections.
Update 8:32 p.m.: A GOP crowd at the Mason Inn in Fairfax is cheering over preliminary results of the presidential race. The group is watching Fox News on a projector. They cheered when preliminary results showed Romney pulling ahead in Tennessee and Virginia.
Update 8:25 p.m. In Fairfax County, there are still lines of people waiting to vote. "If you were in line when the polls closed at 7 p.m., you will get to vote," said county spokeswoman Merni Fitzgerald. "At some precincts, including the one here at the government center, there are still sizable lines so some folks won’t actually cast their ballots for awhile."
Update 7:49 p.m.: "Its important for Republicans to focus on the things Americans really care about," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday night at the GOP watch party in Richmond. "We've had a high voter turnout here in Virginia so we won't know what's happened for at least an hour."
Update 7:16 p.m.: Susan Allen is speaking with WUSA9 at the Omni hotel in Richmond, site of the Allen gathering Tuesday night. Allen was asked what her thoughts were on the idea that the Repubican Party alienates women. "Women understand that this election is about the jobs and the economy," she said. "They see through the smoke and mirrors."
Update 7:12 p.m.: Shortly before polls closed, Brian Moran, chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, texted away on his cell phone at the Marriot Richmond, where Virginia Democrats are gathering Tuesday night.
"I'm telling people to stay in line," he said. "The key is that if you're in line by 7 o'clock that you can still vote. If you're in line stay in line."
Is Moran nervous? "You're always anxious, but I feel good," he said. "We had a great turnout in Virginia, which typically goes in the favor of Democrats. We always expected it to be close, and it appears to be close."
On the importance of the Virginia vote in this election: "We love that," he said. "That's a profound responsibility for Virginia Democrats, that how Virginia goes, so goes the country. We recognized that when we won in '08, that the road to presidential reelection goes through the Commonwealth, and we've been working accordingly and that's why we're going to deliver Virginia tonight."
Update 6:53 a.m.: About 50 reporters are milling about a mostly empty ballroom at the Marriott hotel in Richmond, where the Kaine campaign is gathering for tonight's election returns. Large TV screens are set up and Democratic state Chairman Brian Moran was spotted at the hotel.
Update 9:06 a.m.: Tim Kaine and wife Anne Holton voted Tuesday morning in Richmond at the Hermitage Methodist Home. Kaine will visit precincts in Richmond throughout the day.
Holton will travel to Northern Virginia to greet voters in Arlington at the Rosslyn Fire Station and thank volunteers at the Arlington Democratic Office. She will head back to Richmond later in the day, joining her husband to await results of the election.
Update 8:41 a.m.: George Allen voted with his wife Susan shortly after 6 a.m. at Washington Mill Elementary School in Mount Vernon.
"We're happy this day has come," he said. "It's a day for decision, and it's our generation's rendezvous with destiny. I'm optimistic that Virginians will stand strong for freedom and opportunity for all."
Original: The race for Virginia's open U.S. Senate seat not only attracted national attention for the way it could change how things run on Capitol Hill — it also attracted the most outside campaign spending of any Senate race in the country, according to a recent report by The Washington Times.
The amount, more than $28 million at last count, was more than the Senate races in Wisconsin and Ohio, which also zoomed past the $20 million mark in outside spending. MarketWatch puts the total spent on the campaign in Virginia at $79.2 million.
Virginia voters are familiar with both candidates, Democrat Tim Kaine, who left the Democratic National Committee chairmanship to run, and Republican George Allen, who hopes on Tuesday to win back the seat he lost to Webb in 2006 by scant votes. Both men have criss-crossed the state with their spouses, Susan Allen and Anne Holton, to win over voters.
and Allen did the same, campaigning with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney Monday afternoon at George Mason University's Patriot Center.
Early Tuesday morning, George Allen voted in the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County.
For information on where the candidates fall on issues important to Patch readers, read: Tim Kaine Answers Your Questions and George Allen Answers Your Questions.
Both Senate candidates will await the returns Tuesday night at gatherings in Richmond. The Allen camp will be at the Omni Hotel and the Kaine group will be at the Richmond Marriott. Look for Patch photo galleries from both events.
Patch will update these charts as returns come in Tuesday night.Kaine % Allen % Write-in State total 1,844,933 51.89 1,703,880 47.92 6,645
City/County Allen % Kaine % Write-In City of Alexandria 19,098 26.94% 51,651 72.86% 137 (.19%) Arlington County 31,249 33.86% 60,759 65.83% 292 (.32%) Fairfax City 3,973 41.24% 5,637 58.51% 24 (.25%) Fairfax County 168,311 39.01% 261,155 60.53% 2,005 (.46%) City of Falls Church 2,045 28.42% 5,137 71.40% 13 (.18%) City of Fredericksburg 3,950 35.25% 7,217 64.24% 36 (.32%) Loudoun County 73,909 47.07% 82,839 52.76% 256 (.16%) Manassas 6,550 44.08% 8,281 55.74% 25 (.16%) Manassas Park 63,748 44.08% 80,577 55.72% 289 (.20%) Prince William County 67,585 42.78% 90,091 57.02% 315 (.20%)