Virginia state Sen. John W. Russell, a Fairfax Republican who lost his seat to Democrat Emilie Miller by fewer than 200 votes, said he will ask for a recount.

Russell said yesterday that even though he does not expect the outcome to change, he will ask for a second tabulation of the 35,700 ballots cast in the race Nov. 3. "I always do everything I can, whatever I'm doing," Russell said.

"A lot of people worked very hard for me and I feel I owe them this much. I owed them a win, but you can't have everything."

Russell and Miller ran in the 34th Senate District, which includes most of Fairfax City and part of central Fairfax County. They have clashed twice, and both contests have been decided by less than 1 percent of the votes cast.

Four years ago, when the two sought an open Senate seat, Russell won by 337 votes. This year, the count showed Miller edging him by 180 votes, 17,942 to 17,762.

Russell must file a petition with the county Circuit Court by the end of the month to get a recount. The Circuit Court will oversee the actual counting.

Miller said she expects to be sworn into the Senate when the General Assembly convenes in January.

"Nobody has notified me officially or unofficially that there is a recount," she said. "And until somebody notifies me otherwise, I'm still the senator-elect. I was at a luncheon today where I was introduced as the senator-elect."

Russell plans to pay the cost of the recount.

Under state law, local governments must pay for a recount if the difference between two candidates is less than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast.

If the margin is larger, the candidate who requested the recount must foot the bill.

Russell missed the cutoff by a fraction over one vote.

"A lot of people have offered to help pay for it," said Russell, who raised about $40,000 for his campaign.

"And I may have enough {campaign} money left over to cover it. I don't think that's going to be a problem."

Jane Vitray, secretary of the Fairfax County Board of Elections, said it is unclear how much the recount will cost, but estimated that it will exceed $10,000. Vitray said that Fairfax County has not conducted a recount since 1971, when the early tally in a House of Delegates race left two candidates separated by one vote. The recount produced a tie, and the winner was determined by flipping a coin.

On election night, initial tallies had Miller ahead by 640 votes. But Vitray said that the margin narrowed when they found that a clerk had forgotten to include Russell's 459 votes in the Leehigh precinct. Besides that error, only one vote has been recalculated.

Russell said that he has not considered any political plans beyond the recount, and did not know if he would seek the Senate seat again in four years.

"Right now, I'm just thinking about tomorrow," said Russell, 64. "At my age, you check your temperature every four hours or so to make sure you're still alive."