The trailing Democratic Party candidate for lieutenant governor said Monday she won’t seek a statewide recount, admitting that a new tally was unlikely to make up the nearly 6,900 votes she needs. And it would cost North Carolina’s 100 counties at least $1.5 million to recount. “We face the reality that an extended battle would not alter the outcome of this race,” Linda Coleman said at a news conference after conceding the outcome to Republican Dan Forest. “It was a hard-fought, spirited campaign and we have stark differences. But in the end, in a tight race, North Carolinians have chosen Mr. Forest as their next lieutenant governor.” Coleman had until today to demand a recount because her margin with Forest was less than 10,000 votes out of almost 4.4 million cast.
Forest reacted by expressing relief that the race was over and he was free to think about taking office.
Forest is a first-time candidate, Raleigh architect and the son of retiring U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte, who leaned on his party’s tea party and evangelical blocs.
Coleman was a state worker for more than 30 years. Most recently she was Gov. Bev Perdue’s state personnel director before stepping down to run for the state’s No. 2 office.
Forest had declared himself the winner, but the vote count was neither final nor official.
On Monday, the state elections board reported Coleman as having 551 fewer votes than she did Saturday, when all counties reported their totals. The difference was mostly the result of state elections officials catching a counting mistake in Bertie County, state elections board executive director Gary Bartlett said. That made the difference in the race 6,858.