Democrats Take the Lead in 2013, But the Attorney General Seat is Still in Limbo
Virginia Democrats have so far been victorious in the Nov. 5 elections with the democratic candidates for both governor and lieutenant governor being announced as winners.
Terry McAuliffe was announced the new governor of Virginia on Tuesday night after a narrow victory against Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Ralph Northam won 55 percent of the votes to E.W. Jackson’s 45 percent for lieutenant governor.
But the race for attorney general remains too close to call. With results putting Republican candidate Mark Obenshain (Harrisonburg) on top of Democrat Mark Herring (Loudon) by only .05 percent, a recount will most likely occur.
In 2005, Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds experienced another close race for attorney general where a result wasn’t given until Dec. 21 when a judicial panel announced Bob McDonnell the victor by just over 300 votes out of the nearly 2 million cast.
The Virginia State Board of Elections must certify the results before any recount can occur and the certification of all statewide elections is set to take place on Nov. 25.
In Virginia elections a losing candidate can request a recount when the margin of defeat is within one percent. If the margin of votes falls between half percent or less the recount will be funded by the state but if it falls between the half percent and 1 percent margin the losing candidate will pay for the recount. Though provisional ballots are still being counted the request for a recount will be pursued Herring announced Tuesday night.
“The race for attorney general is razor close and the commonwealth has a process to make sure all the votes are counted and we’re going to make sure we’re going to go through that process,” Harring told the Associated Press. “The race is far from over and we’re going to make sure that we follow the process and make sure every single vote is counted.”
A win for Obenshain would be the only one for the republican ticket and a likely choice among GOP gubernatorial candidates for 2017.
“Since the polls closed, we have continued to gain votes to the point where, according to counts, only a few votes separate myself and my opponent,” Herring told NBC Washington. “We want to make sure all precincts are accounted for and results are accurate, all absentee ballots are counted and every Virginian who cast a provisional ballot has their voice heard.”
Obenshain is being credited for running a more successful campaign than the other republican candidates and was supported well among independent voters, and central and western Virginia.
Herring was able to secure votes in his home county of Loudoun and surrounding Northern Virginia counties including Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax.
Final results for an attorney general will most likely not be announced for weeks.
“It’s important to us that our members of our community are protected in the workplace and that they have fair housing opportunities, adoption, safe schools, anti-bullying; there’s a lot.”February 4, 2015
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