First-time political candidate Daniel Gade, Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Virginia, on Wednesday conceded Tuesday's election to two-term incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Warner.
Gade refused to relinquish the race Tuesday night before all the votes were counted. The Associated Press called the race for Warner shortly after polls closed at 7 p.m.
The highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, 65-year-old Warner was elected Tuesday to a third, six-year term with 56 percent of the vote (2,332,363 votes).
An Army veteran, Gade received 1,856,394 votes statewide. Culpeper County strongly supported the Republican candidate with 58 percent of the vote (15,503 ballots) over Warner's 11,017 votes locally.
In his statement, Gade said he is "a career servant of the Constitution, not a lifelong politician" who enlisted in the US Army as a private in 1992, and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2017.
"I was wounded in action twice and decorated for valor; after I lost my leg in battle, I was able to go on to earn both a Master’s and a PhD in public administration and serve under three different Presidential administrations. In short, I have always served America and the Constitution and will continue to do so in the future," Gade said.
the candidate thanked the many donors and volunteers who supported his campaign and the Virginians who voted for him.
"From Lee County to Accomack County, from Danville to Chesterfield, from Winchester to Fairfax, it was an honor to meet Virginians and be a part of something bigger than myself," he said, listing campaign contributions of more than $5 million and more than 250 in-person campaign events.
"We were relentless in fighting for our conservative values" Gade said. "COVID has redefined campaigning and I’m extremely proud of the volunteers who sacrificed so much for our cause."
He said he would never stop fighting for the country and the Constitution while acknowledging he lost the election. Gade advocated for law and order.
"I concede and call on all of my supporters to recognize state and federal results with peace and unity. No matter the results of the presidential election, in particular, it is paramount that every American realize that we still live in the greatest country on earth, and to work towards 'liberty and justice for all," Gade said.
Warner claimed victory during a news conference Tuesday night in Alexandria,
“I’m incredibly proud and grateful to the people of the commonwealth for sending me back to work in the Senate,” he said. “While we’re all waiting on the national results, I’m optimistic that this is going to be a very good night for our country.”
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