November 27, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Obenshain seeks recount in Virginia attorney general race

Mark Obenshain, Virginia, Republican Party, Culpeper, gay news, Washington Blade

Mark Obenshain speaks in Culpeper, Va., on Nov. 4, 2013. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

State Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) on Wednesday formally requested a recount in the Virginia attorney general race.

The request came two days after the State Board of Elections officially certified that state Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun County) defeated the Harrisonburg Republican by 165 votes. The race is the closest statewide contest in Virginia history.

“This morning, we asked for a recount in the attorney general’s race,” Obenshain said on his Twitter page. “We owe it to the people of Virginia to make sure we get it right.”

Obenshain requested the recount more than three weeks after former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe defeated Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the commonwealth’s gubernatorial race. State Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) will become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor after he easily defeated E.W. Jackson.

“Recounting a race this close is simply the prudent thing to do,” said Pat Mullins, chair of the Republican Party of Virginia, in a statement after Obenshain announced he would seek a recount. “Virginians like a quick resolution to our elections. I know I certainly do. But we must take the time to be sure that each and every legitimate vote is counted. Virginians deserve no less.”

Herring said in his own statement that it is within Obenshain’s “right to pursue electoral victory to an ultimate conclusion beyond the original count, canvass and certification.”

“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,” added Herring.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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