Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, will seek a recount of the historically close Virginia attorney general’s race in which Democratic Sen. Mark Herring of Loudoun County was certified the winner by 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million votes cast. The recount request, announced by the Obenshain campaign late Tuesday afternoon, follows Monday’s certification of Herring as the winner by the State Board of Elections. Earlier in the day, Herring announced co-chairs for his inaugural committee. “It is within Senator Obenshain’s right to pursue electoral victory to an ultimate conclusion beyond the original count, canvass and certification,” Herring said in a news release. “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.”
Because the margin of victory is less than half of 1 percent — in fact, it is .007 percent — the recount will be conducted at state expense.
The attorney general’s race was the only contest eligible for a recount in the Nov. 5 statewide elections. Democrat Terry McAuliffe edged Republican Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli by 2.5 percentage points for governor, and Democratic Sen. Ralph Northam of Norfolk easily defeated Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson in the race for lieutenant governor.