Virginia, Tennessee, & Congress

Virginia: Gillespie concedes. The reelection of US Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) was confirmed Friday when his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, former GOP national chairman, telephoned Warner and conceded defeat. The unofficial tally showed Warner leading by 16,721 votes out of some 2,125,839 cast. Gillespie said it was virtually impossible for a recount to change the result. Given his come-from-behind near-win, while being outspent by two-to-one, Gillespie is a likely contender for future office, possibly governor in 2017.

Tennessee: DesJarlais wins big; Haslam wins biggest. US Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) in the 4th District (Shelbyville, etc.) won his primary by a whisper-thin 38 votes, due to a decade old personal scandal. But in the General Election, he defeated Democrat Lenda Sherrell by 33,443 votes, or 58% to 35%. And in the not-very-competitive governor’s race, incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam (R) was reelected with a 47.5-point margin over nominal opposition, the biggest in any governor’s race in the nation, reports the Tennessee Journal.

Congress: Blue Dogs lose members. After this year’s elections, the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate-to-conservative Democrats in the US House, will lose at least four of its 15 members, and possibly five. In the South, US Reps. John Barrow (GA12) and Pete Gallego (TX23) lost to Republicans. Earlier in the year, US Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC7) resigned and was replaced by a GOPer. However, newly-elected US Rep. Gwen Graham (FL2) may join the group, helping keep its numbers in double digits. Other Southern members include two African Americans, US Reps. Sanford Bishop (GA2) and David Scott (GA13); US Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX28), a Latino; and US Rep. Jim Cooper (TN5), the only Southern white/Anglo Blue Dog remaining in the House.