State Sen. Mark Obenshain will formally ask for a recount in the historically tight race for Virginia attorney general, his campaign announced Tuesday, leaving the final outcome still unclear three weeks after Election Day.
The State Board of Elections certified the results of the contest Monday, with state Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) declared the winner by 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast over Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg). The narrowness of that result — the closest statewide race in modern Virginia history -- is well within the margin for the loser to request a recount that will be paid for by the state.
The Obenshain team announced in a statement Tuesday afternoon that it would do just that, and that two members of his legal team — Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. and Stephen C. Piepgrass — would hold a conference call with the media at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Herring, whose campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday, has been proceeding as though he expects to serve as the next attorney general. He previously named a transition team, and on Tuesday announced the five co-chairs of his inaugural committee. The Democrat’s legal team has argued that it is very unlikely that a recount would overturn the result.
But Obenshain has also named a transition team and has stressed that the race is so close a recount could well make the difference.