Democratic House of Delegates candidate Joshua Cole confirmed Thursday that he will request a recount in the closely contested 28th District race that could determine control of Richmond’s lower chamber. Cole said he plans to file the request Friday in Stafford County Circuit Court, joining two other Democratic House candidates who asked for recounts earlier in the week. He lost to Stafford Republican Bob Thomas by 82 votes on Nov. 7, but Democrats have disputed the outcome amid revelations that voters in Fredericksburg and Stafford received ballots for the wrong House race. Because the race was so close, the state will foot the bill for the recount.
“It would be easier to just walk away,” Cole, an associate pastor from Stafford, said in a telephone interview. “But I told people on the campaign trail that what we needed was a fighter in Richmond. And for me to just walk away from this … would make me fall short of my promise.”
Virginia Democrats also must decide soon whether to press ahead with their federal lawsuit on behalf of three Fredericksburg residents who apparently voted in the wrong House race. The complaint could be used to challenge the 28th District result and request a new, court-ordered election.