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Jones: Victory Too Soon?

Mayoral candidate calls himself the winner, but is it really over?

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In front of television cameras and about 200 supporters at Paradise Lounge, Delegate Dwight Jones has declared victory as the new mayor of Richmond, calling the race a "nail-biter."

The only glitch is, about 12,000 absentee ballots have yet to be counted. And it's possible they could tip the race to Jones' leading opponent, Councilman Bill Pantele.

At least one holdout precinct, however, seemed to offer good news for Jones. Results from the Maymont precinct in the 5th District are unofficially reported as 2-1 in Jones' favor.

With that news, workers with Jones' campaign walked out of the Richmond registrar's office all smiles, while officials continued to count some 8,000 absentee ballots.

At the Paradise Lounge, Jones was making plans. "Four years from now," he told the crowd, "you're not going to know this city."

Pantele conceded at the Holiday Inn on the Boulevard.

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