Lawyers File Recount Request This Morning
Posted: November 27, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, made it official this morning, with the filing of a petition with the Richmond Circuit Court seeking a recount in the Nov. 5 election for attorney general.
Attorneys Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. and Stephen C. Piepgrass, representing Obenshain’s legal team, held a press call to explain the recount process Wednesday. They said they sent a “runner” with the petition to the Richmond court, where the request must be filed according to state law, a little before the 10 a.m. call with reporters.
Results certified by the Virginia State Board of Elections on Monday show Obenshain lost the election to Sen. Mark Herring, D-Loudoun, by 165 votes. The Harrisonburg senator had 10 days to request a recount, which can be asked for when the margin of victory is less than 1 percent. That’s an understatement in this case — the margin between Herring and Obenshain is .007 percent. That’s seven thousandth of one percent. Recounts of races where the margin is less than one half of one percent, as this one is, are paid for by the state. Those where the divide is between one half of one percent and a full percentage point are paid for by the candidate requesting the recount.
“While we certainly would have preferred for the result to be settled on November 5, over the last few weeks we have seen a fluctuating margin that currently sits at 165 votes separating us out of more than 2.2 million votes cast,” according to a statement by Obenshain. “It’s the closest race in Virginia history, and as we have seen in other races around the country with margins this slim, this result could easily change when all is said and done.”
Obenshain’s campaign said that neither the candidate nor his staff would comment today, beyond the statement that was released.
In a prepared statement Tuesday, Herring said: “It is within Senator Obenshain’s right to pursue electoral victory to an ultimate conclusion beyond the original count, canvass and certification. His tactics, however, will not impede our efforts to build the finest team to serve all Virginians in the Office of Attorney General or prepare for the 2014 legislative session.”
A three-judge panel, led by Bradley B. Cavedo, chief judge of the Richmond Circuit Court, will lead the recount, which will likely occur in one day, or possibly two in some jurisdictions, in mid-December.
The DN-R will follow this continuing story as it develops and will provide complete coverage of the recount process in the days and weeks ahead.