Republican House candidate Ed Martin has now conceded a close race against Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan, after Martin had initially claimed that voter fraud or other misbehavior may have been responsible for Carnahan’s win.
On election, night, Martin narrowly led Carnahan for most of the count. But then some late returns from heavily Democratic areas of St. Louis put the incumbent ahead, and the media widely projected him to be the winner by a margin of about two percent.
However, Martin had initially refused to concede, alleging possible voter fraud in Democratic areas. (One example was an allegation of mentally handicapped people casting ballots.) A key piece of evidence, Martin claimed, was that the late Carnahan surge had taken place in just seven key precincts — however, it later became clear that the surge was in more than just those seven.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, Martin conceded the race today in an email to supporters:
“In light of this new information, the implausibility factor evaporates along with my concerns about voter fraud in that late surge,” Martin wrote. “And, although I have concerns about other incidents and improper conduct on election day, I no longer believe these concerns are sufficient to continue our review of what has occurred or delay agreeing that this election is over.”