Wednesday November 5, 2008
Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-25th Dist.) is gearing up for a run at the Governor's Mansion next fall. But while he's looking ahead to the biggest race of his political career, he can't help but look back at what might have been.
"[I] ended up losing by about 360 votes," Deeds recalls.
Deeds lost out to Republican Bob McDonnell in Virginia's 2005 Attorney General race, an election that saw the candidates separated by less than two-hundredths of one percent.
"As I went to bed we were up by a few votes, but we knew the precincts that were outstanding and we figured we would be down by about 3,000 in the morning when I woke up," Deeds remembers. "Sure enough, when I got up on the morning after the election we were down by about 3,000 votes."
As he watches the Goode-Perriello race head for a likely recount, Deeds says the candidates and their staffs really can only sit, wait and rely on their attorneys.
"You have no idea," Deeds says. "You know where the votes are. If you've done the research you know how many votes you can expect to get from a particular area, but once the votes are in it's out of your control. You have to make sure you have the best legal representation available."
And while as a candidate, Deeds spent weeks sweating out the recount process, he says with time comes perspective.
"There have been people who have said to me, 'how do you sleep at night after losing an election by 360 votes?' and I'll say this, 'if losing an election's the worst thing that ever happens to me, I'm all right.'"
Do Goode and Perriello have that attitude right now? Probably not.
Goode's people tell CBS19 he started organizing his legal team Tuesday night as the votes were still coming in and they say they're confident that he will hang onto his seat.
As for the other side, Deeds says he's been in contact with Perriello's campaign and tells CBS19 they've assembled what he calls the best attorneys in Virginia.