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Carnahan finally acknowledges Martin's concession

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 8, 2010 - Three hours after Republican Ed Martin conceded that he did losein last Tuesday's election, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., has finally issued a reply:

"As I said on election night, I wish my opponent the best. This has been a long and spirited campaign, and my focus is now where it has always been: serving the people of this district."

Martin had issued his concession this morning, almost a week after the election. Martin initially had alleged various voter irregularities, but his final statement appears to back off of some of his most controversial allegations.

In essense: Martin acknowledged that the final flurry of vote-counting that put Carnahan ahead came from St. Louis County as well as St. Louis. As a result, Martin appeared to be more accepting of the result.

Martin still was critical in his statement, entitled "Final Report,'' of the Election Day computer snafu in the secretary of state's office that made its electronic voter database inaccessible for election authorities much of the day. Officials in most area counties, including St. Louis, have said the computer failure didn't pose much of a problem because they had their own database, online or in paper. (Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is, of course, the congressman's sister.)

Carnahan's staff had been a bit more outwardly irked than their boss last week, as they waited for Martin to concede. A number of Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, have acknowledged talking to Martin -- with several hinting that he was getting pressure to concede and move on.

Martin also has been getting heat from progressive bloggers, most notably Adam Shriver.

The township-by-township results in the 3rd District (click here to see the Post-Dispatch listassembled by veteran reporter Phil Sutin) also show the vote-getting strengths and weaknesses of Carnahan and Martin.

The St. Louis part of the district came out very strong for Carnahan, arguably providing his victory margin of 4,424 votes.

He and Martin split the St. Louis County section. Carnahan carried the central part of the county (Clayton, Hadley, University and Jefferson townships) while Martin was strong in the southern part of the county (Oakville, Lemay, Tesson Ferry and Concord). Martin just barely edged out Carnahan in Gravois township, the dividing line.

Martin's huge margin in Jefferson County, where he garnered almost 57 percent of the vote, still generates buzz -- as does his unexpected victory in Ste. Genevieve County, generally a Democratic stronghold.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.