Democrat Mark R. Herring continued to widen his slim lead over Republican Mark D. Obenshain in the race for Virginia attorney general Tuesday as the recount of the historically close contest spread statewide. Herring’s lead grew to more than 810 votes, with 73 percent of ballots across the state recounted, according to Herring’s campaign. Fewer than 120 ballots had been “challenged,” the campaign said, meaning recount officials could not agree on how they should be counted and will forward them to a special recount court in Richmond that will begin its work Wednesday. The Democrat’s lead was between 811 and 866, depending on how many of the challenged ballots are ultimately counted, Herring attorney Marc Elias said in a conference call with reporters. Herring’s lead is the larger number if all of the challenges are overturned, the smaller one if they are all upheld.
“We continue to gain margin at a steady pace, and we expect to continue to do so through the rest of the day and through the rest of the recount,” Elias said. “We remain confident that Mark Herring will be declared the winner of the recount.”
It is not clear what Obenshain will choose to do if, at the end of the recount, Herring leads by more votes than there are challenged ballots.
“This is an ongoing process,” said Obenshain spokesman Paul Logan. “It’s important to see it through and ensure that we get an accurate result. That’s been our goal since the minute polls closed.”