Hilda Legg says she will ask for recanvass in Republican Secretary of State primary

05/18/2011 05:42 PM

Republican Hilda Legg is asking for a recheck of the votes in the Republican primary for Secretary of State after the last few precincts reported their totals Wednesday that showed Bill Johnson had a 1,116-vote edge.

The county boards of elections must certify the results by Friday. The state board of elections isn’t slated to certify the official election results until June 6.

Legg’s campaign initially said the decision on a recanvass was up in the air Tuesday night. But Legg issued a statement Wednesday afternoon calling for the recanvass.

“The official results of the primary will be certified by noon on Friday,” Legg said in a statement. “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. My supporters deserve the assurance that every vote has been accurately reported. I am so grateful for all the support I’ve received across the Commonwealth.”

Legg’s decision to request a recanvass leaves her Secretary of State primary as the only race without a declared winner. It also creates some uncertainty for the Republican Party heading into the Republican Party of Kentucky’s unity rally on Saturday.

Johnson said the rally could be “uncomfortable” for supporters of both candidates. But he said he supported Legg’s decision to ask for a recanvass, saying he wanted everyone to have “confidence in the process.”

“Ultimately, I need to have Hilda’s support and the support of her supporters,” Johnson told Pure Politics.

Johnson, who would face Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election, said he didn’t know if he would be at a disadvantage for the November election because of the delay of the recanvass. But he said the process is necessary and that he would spend a lot of time at the Republican Party of Kentucky’s headquarters fundraising and organizing this summer either way.

“I don’t know if (the recanvass) will or won’t hurt,” Johnson said. “But I know if we don’t go through this process, Legg’s supporters won’t be confident and won’t be supportive.”

If the recanvass does not change the result of the election, Legg can either ask for a re-count, which she would have to pay for, or concede.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston

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