Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Déjà vu in Virginia attorney general drama

Eight years ago my phone rang bright and early the day after the 2005 election. I was still sleeping after a hard-fought campaign that saw Bill Bolling elected as lieutenant governor, Jerry Kilgore lose as governor, and Bob McDonnell in a tight down-to-the-wire race for attorney general. I was needed at the Augusta County Government Center to witness the vote canvas, the beginning of a process that eventually led to my participation in a mid-December recount that saw McDonnell prevail with a mere 360 votes over his Democratic challenger, Creigh Deeds.

Fast forward to last week's election that saw Democrats Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam winning the governor and lieutenant governor spots. The end of the day, however, showed a tighter-than-a-tick contest between Republican Mark Obenshain and Democrat Mark Herring that fluctuated back and forth as a variety of events took place over the next seven days. When all votes were finally tallied, Herring was ahead by 163 votes in a contest that was probably headed to recount.

However, as happened in the 2005 race, recounts rarely change the final numbers by much. If Herring prevails, Virginia Democrats will have swept the top three offices that were won in landslide victories four years earlier by Republicans McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli.

NBC 12 has a report on the final count.

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