While all the attention was going to Democrat Terry McAuliff's race against Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia's governorship, there were two other important, state-wide contests going on. The Commonwealth also elected a Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Ralph Northam and just a few hours ago, the close race for Attorney General was declared. It took nearly three weeks, but it's over -- unless there's a recount.
The winner is -- drum-roll please -- Mark Herring, also a Democrat. He prevailed by a 165 vote margin out of more than 2.2 million votes cast. This is well within the margin that could be justified for a recount. And this will probably be the case.
Herring's opponent, State Sen. Mark Obenshain is most likely going to ask for the recount. I mean, truthfully, why not?
With Herring having just been certified the winner today of the Attorney General's race, the Democrats have swept the top three offices in purple Virginia. And it's a final slap in the face to the tea party. And that's why Obenshain will probably ask for a recount. He's part of the Tea Party.
But will this narrow lead hold if a recount is demanded? It's hard to tell. There was the much criticized vote counting rules changes AFTER the election that nothing should surprise us. Maybe they'll change the rules again. Also there was the case of 5000 votes that were missing for three days in Democratic leaning Fairfax County that suddenly, under pressure from the Democrats, showed up. Imagine that? Those are the votes that put Herring into the lead for the first time. That's a lead he's held ever since. Who knows what other bags of ballots might turn up?
Also we must consider this -- it's losing Republican Gubernatorial candidate Cuccinelli, still the states Attorney General who will supervise this recount. He's the Tea Party darling who could try to go out with a bang -- clogging up the commonwealth's political machinery and a smooth transition of their justice department, for no other reason than he can. And he's not called 'the Cooch' for nothing.
The Cooch's political future in Virginia is probably gone. Obershain still has a possible election or two in his plans. The next step he takes will be noticed. Will he take it like a man, or like a Tea Party wimp? He has about ten days to decide.
This should be interesting.