Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James announced Monday night he will seek a recount of the votes cast in last Tuesday’s primary election.
James, in an email to supporters Monday night, said he did not expect the race to be as close as it is.
“Needless to say, last week’s primary election was a surprise,” James said. “We didn’t expect the race to be as close as it is, with a margin of some 200 votes. But, we’re moving forward.”
James is currently in third place, 208 votes behind Robert Bentley. If the vote totals stand after provisional ballots are counted this week, Bentley will face Bradley Byrne in a runoff on July 13th.
“What’s apparent now is that we will need to recount the vote,” James said in the statement. “There is nearly a 100% chance that when you recount votes, especially with as many as 492,000 cast in this primary, the numbers will change.
“My No. 1 concern is knowing whether we won or lost,” James said. “Today, I spoke with Dr. Robert Bentley. No matter who’s up or down tomorrow after provisional ballots are counted, there will be a recount.
“I do not want to win this race unless I win this race. I am not out to change votes. I just want to make sure there is an accurate count.”
James did ask for his supporters to help pay for the cost of a recount. The state Republican party would be in charge of the recount, and party officials estimate the recount could cost between $300,000 and $600,000.
“If it’s up to us to pay for a recount, it will be costly,” James said. “That’s why I am reaching out to you tonight. Please consider whatever you can give at this time and make a contribution to my campaign.”
In an interview last week, Alabama GOP chairman Mike Hubbard said of a possible recount, “It will be a logistical challenge, there’s no doubt. We would have to hire workers and hire overseers to comply and do it in a short amount of time.”
Provisional ballots are scheduled to be counted Tuesday, then the final vote tally certified by each county will be sent to the state Republican party headquarters in Birmingham for final certification with the Secretary of State on Friday.
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