Republican Pryce re-elected to House from Ohio, but recount will be required
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce won re-election Monday by a margin so slim that a recount will be required.Unofficial results announced by Franklin County, the last to finish counting absentee and provisional ballots in central Ohio’s 15th District, showed Pryce led Democratic challenger Mary Jo Kilroy by 1,055 votes.Pryce lost Franklin County, the district’s most populous, but she retained her lead thanks to votes she picked up in two other counties: Madison certified results Monday; Union reported its results last week.The race was one of a handful that had remained unresolved across the country since Election Day, when Democrats took control of Congress.Pryce ended up with 50.2 percent of the vote, compared with 49.8 percent for Kilroy in the unofficial totals.An automatic recount is triggered if the difference between the two candidates is less than one-half of 1 percent.Pryce spokesman George Rasley was confident of the ultimate result despite the recount.”We don’t have any concerns at all that this is going to change significantly,” he said.Despite the impending recount, Pryce said Monday she considers herself the winner and is planning her return to Washington. “If there is a recount, that will just further the integrity of the process,” she said.Kilroy said automatic recounts in close races protect people’s votes, and she does not see the review as delaying the process.”We’ve been through one count so far. We should take a look at it again,” she said.The Franklin County elections board reviewed just under 21,000 provisional ballots, throwing out about 2,600 of them. Most of the uncounted provisionals were cast by people who weren’t registered to vote or voted in the wrong precinct, elections director Matt Damschroder said.Pryce, a seven-term incumbent and until recently the No. 4 Republican in Congress, had seen her lead in the campaign turn sharply amid the scandal over U.S. Rep. Mark Foley and GOP leaders’ handling of lurid messages he had been sending for years to male congressional pages. Pryce had publicly named Foley as one of her best friends in Washington.The official numbers are due at the secretary of state’s office Tuesday, spokesman James Lee said. Once the state office verifies a recount is required, it would notify county election officials that they have 10 days to complete the recount. Lee said that notice could be sent Tuesday, which would mean the recount would have to be done by Dec. 8.In other congressional races:-North Carolina election officials said a manual recount of randomly chosen precincts will take place Wednesday and Thursday in the race between Rep. Robin Hayes, a Republican, and Democrat Larry Kissell. Hayes claimed victory after election night returns showed him leading by more than 450 votes, but since then a count of provisional ballots and a machine recount have trimmed that to 329 votes.-Florida will start an audit Tuesday of electronic voting machines in the close House race between Democrat Christine Jennings and Republican Vern Buchanan. The state certified Buchanan the winner by 369 votes, or less than 0.02 percent, but Jennings contested, arguing touch-screen voting machines had malfunctioned.-The Virginia state Board of Elections on Monday certified Jim Webb as the winner over Republican incumbent George Allen in the race that gave control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats. The official results show Webb received 1,175,606 votes to Allen’s 1,166,277 – a difference of 0.39 percent. State law entitles the loser to a recount if the margin of victory is less than 0.50 percent, but Allen said in his concession speech that he would not seek a recount.