Maryland congressional candidate Dan Bongino (R) is down roughly 2,000 votes in the race against John Delaney (D) in the 2014 midterm elections, and says he is waiting to concede until the remaining absentee ballots are counted.
"There's 6,000 outstanding ballots. We're only down by about 2,000. A lot of them are military. So there's still a shot, however small it may be," Bongino said, speaking in his first interview since the ballots were counted on TheBlaze Radio's Pat and Stu Wednesday.
"Is there a recount in the future do you think, Dan?" co-host Stu Burguiere asked. "Especially if it closes at all?"
Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, said he didn't want to "spin anybody's wheels" with boastful talk of certain victory. Officials will begin counting absentee ballots on Thursday, and he said they will see how it shakes out.
"We'd have to have a really, really good day [to ask for a recount]. But there is a chance," Bongino remarked. "If it starts to break our way, and it's a 10 vote, 20 vote [difference], then yeah, absolutely we're going to ask for a recount. But if it just splits as it did before and he maintains a couple thousand vote lead on that, we're probably going to [concede]."
Bongino said the process has been an "emotional roller coaster." Early in the night, they were down by over a dozen points, and then they shot back up and maintained a sizable lead for most of the night. Falling just below Delaney at the end of the night was quite a blow, he admitted.
"I ran an un-apologetically conservative campaign in a district where the Democrat won by 21 points in the last election," Bongino said. "We had an ideological rebellion here. And I'll tell you, even though we may not prevail in this, I feel good about it."
"Is there a -- do you need help in case of a recount, money-wise?" Pat Gray asked. "Is there a website that you want to hit, and maybe people can help out?"
"Unlike most politicians who would happily collect people's money no matter what, we don't need it yet," Bongino said. "If we decide to do that, I will definitely put it out."
When Bongino hung up, both Burguiere and Gray were shocked.
"We've had, what, a thousand politicians on the air? There's never been one that's told us not to donate money," Burguiere said.
"To turn down donating money!" Gray added. "But see, that's the kind of guy Dan is, and that's why we love the guy."
Burguiere added that he appreciated Bongino's humility, and that he didn't say, "We know we won, and we're going to take this to the courts!"
"He's saying, 'Look, we're going to see the ballots come in. If it gets really, really close, we'll go for a recount,'" Burguiere remarked. "He even said 10 or 20 votes. I would say open up that window a little bit. But again, he's under-selling himself."
Burguiere called Bongino "a great guy of character," and said it is "really upsetting" that he may not end up in Congress.
You can listen to the complete interview in the clip below, beginning around the 46:25 mark: