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UPDATED: 10:42, November 10, 2006
U.S. Republican candidate concedes defeat in key Senate race
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U.S. Senator George Allen conceded defeat Thursday afternoon in his re-election bid, finalizing victory of his Democratic challenger Jim Webb in the crucial Senate race in Virginia.

Allen said he had called Webb to congratulate his victory.

The announcement capped one of the most competitive, well- publicized races in Tuesday's legislative elections, which could decide which party controls the Senate.

Allen, a former Virginia governor, said that under law, he had the right to ask for a recount, as his Democratic opponent Webb led by only several thousands of votes out of more than 2.3 million cast, but that process could drag on till Christmas.

Webb's victory brought the number of Democratic seats in the Senate to 51, the party's first majority in that chamber of Congress since 2002.

Webb was expected to declare victory Thursday afternoon.

Democrats secured its control of the House hours after polling were closed Tuesday night, but control of the Senate had remained uncertain until Thursday.

In another key Senate race, Republican Senator Conrad Burns on Thursday conceded defeat in Montana, the Associated Press reported.

Source: Xinhua

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