Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Houck concedes Senate race
State Sen. Edd Houck says he will not contest the results of Tuesday night’s election.
He has called Republican opponent Bryce Reeves to concede earlier this afternoon. Houck said he offered Reeves any help he needs with preparing to join the Senate.
The canvass of votes in the 17th District showed Reeves ahead by more than 200 votes.
Houck’s concession means Republicans control the Senate. They also control the House of Delegates and governorship, for the first time since the end of Gov. Jim Gilmore’s term.
In an interview just prior to his public announcement, Houck said that after talking with his wife, Dana, and with campaign and legal advisors, he decided that a recount was unlikely to change the election results.
“We could not find where there were any irregularities in the voting process that would change anything,” Houck said. “It just seems that whether it’s today or whether it’s early December, we would find ourselves at the same spot … In the final analysis, tabulating votes and looking at it from a legal standpoint, there’s just no hope that the results are going to be changed…. “I think it’s best to concede this election and move on.”
His decision not to seek a recount was clear in a posting he made on his Facebook page, quoting Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heaven…a time to search and a time to give up”.
“I just felt that this was a time to concede,” Houck said. “It’s an election, and we didn’t win. I can live with that… My life will go on.”
Houck said he’s proud of his 28 years of service in the state Senate and his seven previous election victories.
“When I got elected in 1983, the night that I won, I made three promises,” Houck said. “I promised the people that one, I would work hard. Number 2, I would be honest, and number 3, I would maintain contact with the people that I represent. I can tell you today, after 28 years, mission accomplished. I worked hard, I was as honest as I could be in my role as a senator, as a legislator, as a politician, and I definitely maintained contact with the voters, with the constituents, with my localities. I have fulfilled what I promised what I would do in 1983, and I am very satisfied with that.”
Houck said he offered Reeves one piece of advice — to make sure he balances work and family.
“He’s going to find that he’s going to have to give an enormous amount of time to (being senator),” Houck said. “He needs to be guarded that he keeps proper balance with his children and his wife, his family. It’s very easy, you will have to devote a lot of time and energy to being the state senator to represent this district, and that was just from one father to another.”