Secretary Of State Says Shumlin Wins; Racine Wants Recount

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(Host) Vermont’s Democratic primary race for governor will continue into next week.

The first official summary of votes statewide was released Friday by the secretary of state’s office.

That showed Peter Shumlin beating Doug Racine by 197 votes – 18,276 to 18,079. Racine says that’s so close that a recount is warranted.

Analysts say a recount will give Republican Brian Dubie an advantage.

VPR’s Patti Daniels describes Racine’s decision.

(Daniels) Racine called reporters to in his hometown of Richmond to make his announcement:

(Racine) "I just got off the phone with Peter Shumlin to inform him that I will be asking for a recount in this election."

(Daniels) Racine says his supporters wanted the recount, and he says Shumlin supports his decision.

The secretary of state’s office says 74,000 votes were cast in this election.

(Racine) "That’s one-quarter of one percent of votes cast. And it’s on that basis of closeness that I feel that this race should be recounted. It’s less than one vote per town in the State of Vermont."

(Daniels) Racine says he won’t be fundraising while the recount goes forward, and he expects Shumlin to campaign as the presumed winner:

(Racine) "If the vote stays the same, and the odds are probably in that direction, I will join with Peter Shumlin if he’s the winner and we will campaign together."

(Daniels) The third-place finisher, Deb Markowitz, is 696 votes behind Shumlin. Markowitz says she isn’t asking for a recount, but Racine is aware his decision could end up helping her, too.

(Racine) "I keep thinking if something very strange happened in this count, ironically, you know she’s still in the running – what if things change in her favor? Anything could happen in a recount."

(Daniels) The state police will collect ballots from town clerks and take them to the county courthouses where clerks will organize a recount.

The totals will be sent to the Washington County Superior Court, which will decide who won this primary.

Racine says he expects the recount will be finished in a week.

For VPR News, I’m Patti Daniels.


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