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Vote Totals Narrow Between Walsh, Bean

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Joe Walsh, Melissa Bean

Joe Walsh and Melissa Bean, 2010 Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively, for the 8th Congressional District. (Walsh for Congress/CBS)

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Walsh Has Already Declared Victory; Bean Has Not Conceded

CHICAGO (CBS) - As the vote count continues in the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District, the margin between Republican Joe Walsh and Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean narrows.

According to the Bean campaign, the incumbent picked up an additional 328 votes in the count Thursday, for a total of 97,178. Walsh picked up 140 votes to give him a total of 97,543.

The margin between the two stood at 365 votes early Friday.

Bean for Congress spokesman Jonathan Lipman said the race is too close to call, and the campaign will continue to “work to understand the will of the voters.” He contends there are about 4,000 ballots outstanding.

Walsh, who has already declared victory, said he is unconcerned about the change in the vote total.

The Tea Party-backed Walsh ran his campaign according to the so-called “28 founding principles” of the United States, “not the least of which are limited government, free enterprise and the rule of law as established by our Constitution.”

Government spending, gun rights, and curbing illegal immigration were among the major themes of his campaign.

In the last few weeks of the campaign, the Bean campaign began airing attack ads portraying Walsh as a right-wing extremist.

The ad campaign took Walsh to task for supporting concealed weapons, calling for the abolition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and calling for a ban on abortion without exception, including in cases of rape and incest.

Sound bites used in the ad showed Walsh saying, “We’re at the beginning of a war,” “This is a revolution,” and, without specifying what he is talking about, “Some people may say that’s reckless, but so what?”

“Reckless? Joe, that’s dangerous,” Walsh says in the ad.

Walsh took Bean to task for the ad in his own campaign video.

“Melissa Bean, you’ve got to be kidding me,” he said. “Ten percent unemployment, foreclosures up throughout our district, people’s entire savings wiped out, our economy is in tatters – and you attack me for my position on abortion?”

The 8th District covers parts of Lake, McHenry and suburban Cook County. It was represented for 35 years by Republican Congressman Phil Crane. Bean unseated him in 2004.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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