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WTVD reports that the multi-term House Representative from North Carolina’s US House District 2 is not ready to concede to Dunn nurse Renee Ellmers just yet:
Congressman Bob Etheridge said Wednesday that he wants a recount in his race with Renee Ellmers.
Unofficial Tuesday night poll results show the career nurse who became a Tea Party favorite in North Carolina has ousted the veteran Democratic lawmaker from Congress.
But Congressman Bob Etheridge isn’t giving up. He said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that the race for the US House of Representatives District 2 seat is too tight to call.
He said the margin is less than one percent, and that because of that, he’s asking the State Board of Elections for a recount.
He said provisional and overseas ballots are still being counted.
“It is incumbent upon all of us that this procedure be allowed to work,” he said.
Ellmers’ lead was slightly above 1% until officials across the district ‘refined’ their counts, according to the Raleigh News and Observer:
Incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge said Wednesday afternoon that he probably will seek a recount in the 2nd Congressional District, where Republican challenger Renee Ellmers holds a narrow edge of 1,646 votes out of more than 188,000 counted in unofficial results.
He has notified the State Board of Elections that he would ask for a recount if he is within one percent of Ellmers once the counties make the vote count official. That will take days.
Ellmers had declared victory Tuesday night and the Associated Press had concurred, declaring her the winner just before midnight. But Etheridge, who is seeking an eight term, refused to concede and on Wednesday as election officials across the district refined their counts, her lead fell by 453 votes. That let the gap dip below 1 percent, at 49.52 percent to 48.64 percent.
The swing was tiny, but critical: State law dictates that the margin must be less than one percent for a congressional candidate to get a mandatory recount if they seek one.
This means it will be more than two weeks before even an informal winner is clear. Recounts at county level would likely occur Nov. 17, 18 or 19, depending on when Etheridge files a formal request, according to state board of elections officials.
The results would be made public immediately, but a winner would not be formally declared until the the board’s Nov. 23 meeting.
Of course, Etheridge is well within his right to request a recount, so let the process take place. I just hope the GOP has their lawyers close by for any challenges, because if officials across the district can “refine” the vote tallies like they did today, they sure as heck can do it again.
Win or lose, though, Renee Ellmers overcame incredible odds in a race where Etheridge was supposed to sail by smoothly. As far as I know, she got virtually no help from the NRCC, and her campaign was totally grassroots from top to bottom. It was aided by Etheridge’s bullying stunt this past summer, but her surge in popularity also had a lot to do with the hard work both her and her campaign staff put in to social media and traveling around the disctrict and connecting with concerned voters in a genuine, personal way. She pretty much came out of no where and turned into a force to be reckoned with in NC2. No matter what happens as a result of this recount, she and her supporters can hold their heads high. In the event that the recount does not go her way, I hope this does not mean she will leave the public arena. This state could use more prominent strong conservative voices like hers speaking out, and it’s a definite plus that she’s a nurse who knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the issue of health care “reform.”
The battle for NC2 rages on. Stay tuned.