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Posted December 17, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Herring, Obenshain gain votes in local recounts

By Joe Beck

Democrat Mark R. Herring had a good day in the Warren County and Shenandoah County portions of the tense statewide recount to determine who will be the state's next attorney general.

In a race where each vote is fraught with importance, Herring gained a single vote in Warren County and nine votes in Shenandoah. Obenshain gained seven votes in Shenandoah County and none in Warren. Obenshain finished the recount with huge leads over Herring in both counties, but Herring entered the recount with a 165 vote statewide lead, a margin that has grown slightly in the last two days of recounting.

Warren and Shenandoah counties joined most other counties in the recount after heavily populated Fairfax County and a few other jurisdictions began the recount Monday.

Herring overtook Obenshain in the last hours of the vote-counting Nov. 5 and was declared the winner by the State Board of Elections. But his narrow 165-vote margin allowed Obenshain to request a government-funded recount that was scheduled to conclude at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Clerk of Circuit Court Jennifer Sims supervised the recount in Warren County with help from Lee Bowen, secretary of the Warren County Electoral Board, and Bill Hammack, chairman of the board.

"We're very glad it's over," Bowen said about an hour after Warren County concluded its recount at about 11 a.m. The recount began at 7 a.m. at the fire station on Commerce Avenue.

"It went smoothly, no problems," Bowen said.

Shenandoah County also began counting at 7 a.m. on the second floor of the general district court building and concluded around 4:30 p.m.

County Registrar Lisa McDonald said she was pleased with the process.

"I think it went very smoothly," McDonald said. "We finished as quickly as expected."

The recounted votes are being sent to Richmond by state police courier where a three-judge panel is expected to review the results and determine the winner by Friday.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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