Republican Secretary of state

Legg intends to seek recanvass in GOP secretary of state race

unofficially, she lost by 1,097 votes

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comMay 19, 2011 

FRANKFORT — Republican secretary of state candidate Hilda Legg said Wednesday that she intends to ask for a recanvass after Tuesday's vote totals are certified.

The Republican race for secretary of state was the closest of Tuesday's primary. According to The Associated Press, Todd County businessman and teacher Bill Johnson beat Legg, a Somerset consultant and former federal official, by 1,097 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

The official count — conducted by the Secretary of State's office — will not be finalized until Friday. Legg has until Tuesday to ask for a recanvass.

"Given the narrow margin, less than 1 percent in this race, I intend to request a recanvass after we have had the opportunity to review the official results," Legg said in a written statement. "My supporters deserve the assurance that every vote has been accurately reported."

A recanvass is a retabulation of totals from each voting machine. If a recanvass is conducted and Legg still believes there was an error or problem with the vote totals, she can petition for a recount, a more costly and time-consuming process that Legg's campaign would have to fund.

Legg, a consultant and former executive director of the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, outraised Johnson nearly 6 to 1. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Johnson raised $24,000 while Legg raised $143,910.

Johnson, 45, who courted the Tea Party during the campaign, received 66,429 votes compared to 65,332 votes for Legg, according to The Associated Press.

Johnson said Wednesday that he understands why Legg wants to ensure that the vote totals are correct and will not declare himself the winner until Legg and her supporters are satisfied that the vote totals are accurate.

The winner of the Republican primary will face Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Lexington lawyer who beat incumbent Elaine Walker in Tuesday night's Democratic primary.

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