Donnelly to ask for recount

Chris Rizo Aug. 15, 2008, 11:36am

Margaret Donnelly (D)

Chris Koster (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline)-State Rep. Margaret Donnelly, who narrowly lost the race for the Democratic nomination in the Missouri attorney general race, said Friday she will request a recount.

Donnelly lost the primary by 794 votes out of 346,000 ballots cast, her campaign said. State Rep. Chris Koster won the primary, according to unofficial results. The Missouri secretary of state has not yet certified the election results, officials said.

"As candidates are able to request a recount whenever their losing margin is less than one percentage point, and given the slim margin separating the candidates at the top, we feel it is in the best interest of the state and of all those who voted to make sure there is no error in tabulating the final results and that the votes of all citizens are counted for this important race," Donnelly said in a statement.

The Donnelly campaign said one one-vote swing in as few as a quarter of precincts would have resulted in Donnelly winning her party's AG nomination.

"Voting is the heart of the democratic process, and we are pursuing a recount as that is the fairest way possible to make sure the people's voice through the election is most accurately heard," Donnelly said.

"I have received encouragement to pursue the recount from an overwhelming number of Democratic primary voters. At this stage the recount becomes a legal procedure," she added.

The law firm of Lathrop & Gage L.C. has been hired to represent Donnelly. Attorney Richard Rhyne of the firm's Kansas City office was chairman of the Donnelly for Attorney General Greater Kansas City-Area Steering Committee.

The campaign said Rhyne has handled election recount issues in the past.

"Lathrop & Gage has handled election recounts like this many times before," Donnelly said.

If the recount does not render Donnelly the winner, Koster will go up against Republican state Senate President Pro Tempore Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood in November's general election.

The candidates are vying to replace outgoing Attorney General Jay Nixon, a Democrat, who is running for Missouri governor.

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