UPDATE: Recount likely as elections board certifies close AG race
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Virginia’s Board of Elections certified the results from the Nov. 5 election Monday morning.
However, with Democrat Mark Herring leading Republican Mark Obenshain by only 165 votes, experts said it is unlikely the attorney general’s race is settled.
While Herring has declared victory, all indication from political analysts in Virginia is that the Commonwealth is headed for a recount.
Obenshain’s campaign plans to review the results for the “closest statewide election in modern Virginia history” over the next few days.
“Margins this small are why Virginia law provides a process for a recount. However, a decision to request a recount, even in this historically close election, is not one to be made lightly. Virginia law allows ten days to request a recount,” Obenshain’s campaign said in a statement.
CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said Sunday that he believes there is “definitely going to be a recount.”
Under Virginia law, a candidate who is trailing can call for a recount if the margin is less than one percent. If the margin is less than one half of one percent — as this election is – the state will pick up tab.
Even after that process of a recount has finished, options are available for candidates. Under Virginia law, a candidate can “contest” an election if he or she believes irregularities occurred.
Political strategist Paul Goldman told CBS 6 that a contest would put the decision of selecting the attorney general in the hands of the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Goldman added however that scenario is very unlikely, bringing attention to the fact that the more compelling question will be who will control the State Senate next year.
Presently, the State Senate is tied 20-20 with the Lt. Governor casting the tie breaking vote.
Virginia will hold at least two special elections in the weeks to come.
One to fill the seat vacated by Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam. Another will be to fill the seat vacated by either Attorney General-Elect Herring or Attorney General-Elect Obenshain, depending on who actually wins.
“Presuming Herring wins, if Republicans win one of those seats they will have 21 senators,” Goldman said.
Stay with WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for the latest on this developing story.