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Candidate asks rival to concede N.C. race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Representative Robin Hayes is calling on his Democratic challenger to give up the fight for a hand recount in the nation's closest US House race.

Hayes's call in his contest against Larry Kissell was made after an unofficial vote count, an official one, and a machine recount -- all which showed Hayes leading by a slim margin.

"We've counted the votes three times now, and each of those three times the numbers have shown Robin Hayes the winner of this election," Carolyn Hern, Hayes's spokeswoman, said after a recount completed Tuesday cut Hayes's lead to 329 votes out of the more than 121,000 cast.

But Kissell is pressing ahead with a demand for a hand recount -- something he is entitled to under state law because he trails by less than 1 percentage point.

John Wallace, a lawyer for the Kissell campaign, said he had requested the hand recount, which will be carried out next week in 3 percent of the district's precincts.

"I owe nothing less to the voters of this district than to fight for every vote to be counted ," Kissell said in a statement.

A handful of other House races remained unresolved:

Ohio, 15th District: Deborah Pryce, a member of the House Republican leadership, led Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by 3,717 votes Tuesday amid a count of provisional ballots. About 19,000 ballots remain to be counted.

In Florida, state officials certified Republican Vern Buchanan the winner over Democrat Christine Jennings by 369 votes, or less than 0.02 percent. Jennings has contested the election, arguing that touch-screen voting machines had malfunctioned and asking a judge to order a new election. State officials said Wednesday that they would test voting machines.

Representative William Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana, the subject of an FBI bribery probe, will face fellow Democrat Karen Carter in a Dec. 9 runoff, and Representative Henry Bonilla, Republican of Texas, will face former Representative Ciro Rodriguez, a Democrat, in a Dec. 12 runoff.

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