Questions Around Attorney General Race

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

November 9, 2005

Two of the state's top leaders are elected, but there are some questions surrounding the Attorney General's race.

The numbers show Bob McDonnell beating Creigh Deeds by a fraction of a percent, .08 percent to be exact and we need to be exact to figure out what happens next.

"Recounts can only be given if the election total is within 1 percent, so it's highly likely that this will be within one percent," said Joshua Scott who is with the UVa Center for Politics.

If it's between .5 percent and one percent the candidate requesting must pay for it, but if it's less, then the state will absorb the cost. We've seen recounts here before such as the governors race in 1989.

"That election was decided by about 7,000 votes. We're looking at an election here for Attorney General that is going to be decided probably by less than 2,000 votes," said Scott.

The State Board of Election will declare a winner in late November before any possibility of a recount. Until then, Republicans are celebrating.

"I'm confident to announce today that I'm going to be the next Attorney General of Virginia," said McDonnell.

But Democrats aren't giving up hope.

"The Deeds campaign is working to make sure every vote is counted. They have put together both a transition committee and recount committee in place and more news on that will be forthcoming," said Tim Kaine, Governor-Elect.

But how did it get this close? In the beginning the race was pegged as an easy Republican victory, but one man changed that.

"The big win by Tim Kaine really helped Creigh Deeds along. It helped pull Creigh Deeds into a very very close race with Bob McDonnell on election night," said Scott.

There are still some votes coming in from absentee ballots and other precincts are trying to figure out if their results are fully in and accurate.

Creigh Deeds announced that he does have a legal team in place for possible recount efforts.

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