News & Election Videos

December 07, 2008

Kilroy defeats Stivers

Democrats have picked up one final House seat this election cycle.

With all the ballots counted in Ohio's Fifteenth District, Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy has defeated Republican Steve Stivers by a 0.7 percent margin, 45.9 to 45.2 percent. Kilroy's 2,311-vote margin of victory is large enough to avoid an automatic, state-financed recount.

The final result was delayed until Franklin County officials could count some 24,000 provisional ballots, about 40 percent of which were cast in the Fifteenth District. Stivers had been leading by just under 600 votes before the provisional ballots were counted.

The victory gives Democrats one final pickup of a Republican-held seat. Kilroy will be succeeding retiring Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio).

"In Washington, I will work together with Democrats, Republicans, and President-Elect Obama to tackle the real problems that our community faces," Kilroy said in a statement. "Over the next few days I will be in contact with Representative Deborah Pryce to begin a smooth transition so that no constituent services are delayed during these tough economic times."

Stivers conceded the race to Kilroy Sunday night.

“While I am extremely proud of the race I ran, ultimately, is was not enough. I have called Commissioner Kilroy to congratulate her for her hard-fought victory, and I wish her well in Washington," Stivers said.

The race was the last undecided House election of the cycle.  Democrats will hold 257 House seats, compared to 178 seats for Republicans.  Democrats picked up a net of 21 House seats this election cycle*.

* -- This assumes, as a Scorecard reader points out, that there will not be a recount that overturns Republican John Fleming's narrow lead over Democrat Paul Carmouche in Louisiana's Fourth District. While that prospect appears unlikely, the House count officially is 257 Dems, 177 GOP seats.

Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.) has also requested a recount in Virginia Fifth District, which is unlikely to overturn his loss to Democrat Tom Perriello.  The AP has already called the race for Perriello.