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Kerry concedes election to Bush

BOSTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John Kerry says he wants to "begin the healing" the divisions brought about by the campaign in conceding the presidential election to George Bush.

Kerry, speaking at Boston's Faneuil Hall, delivered an emotional speech to supporters that began with an apology: "I'm sorry we got here a little bit late and a little bit short."

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"Earlier today I spoke to President Bush and I offered him and (first lady) Laura (Bush) our congratulations on the victory," Kerry said. "We had a good conversation and talked about the dangers of the divisions in our country. Today I hope that we can begin the healing."

Kerry had called Bush about 11 a.m. to tell the president he was ending his bid for the Oval Office. Bush said the call was "gracious" and called Kerry a "worthy opponent" who should be proud of his campaign.

For the second consecutive election with Bush, the vote came down to one state. In 2000 it was Florida, which Bush won by 537 votes over Al Gore. In 2004 it was Ohio where Bush's 136,000-vote advantage was too much for the Democrats to battle in the legal system, even with thousand of provisional and absentee ballots still to be considered.

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"The outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process," Kerry said. "I would not give up if there was a chance we could prevail."

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