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August 25, 2010

Shumlin Victorious? Racine and Markowitz Not Ready to Concede

DSC07225 With a 190-vote lead and all precincts reporting, Peter Shumlin is declaring victory in the five-way Democrat primary for governor. But rivals Doug Racine and Deb Markowitz aren't ready to call it quits.

At a Democratic unity rally at Burlington's Union Station today, Racine and Markowitz stressed that vote tallies are unofficial and the race is still wide open. Neither would comment about whether they would seek a recount, which is allowed for candidates who finish within 2 percent of the winner.

The five Democratic candidates appeared on stage together before a throng of clapping supporters, but there was no singing of Kumbaya. They all raised hands together, but afterward Markowitz and Racine didn't sound ready to hand the election to Shumlin. None spoke to the crowd from the podium.

Afterward, Shumlin told reporters, "It appears that we've won. We believe we've won and obviously we're going to move forward on the basis that we're going to take on [Republican candidate] Brian [Dubie] and we're gonna get the job done."

Shumlin said he'd be "delighted" to take on Dubie in a debate scheduled for tomorrow night in South Burlington, but is reporting that neither Shumlin nor Racine will appear at the debate, throwing the first post-primary forum into doubt.

Meanwhile, Shumlin said he'll continue campaigning and fund-raising on the assumption that he won the primary.

"We're going to roll up our sleeves and go forward on the basis that we have a campaign to run," Shumlin said. "We're going to continue doing everything we need to win."

According to Politico, the official tally is as follows: Shumlin 18,183 (25.1%), Racine 17,993 (24.8%), Markowitz 17,499 (24.1%), Matt Dunne 15,034 (20.7%) and Susan Bartlett 3773 (5.2%).

Speaking to reporters, Markowitz was cagey about whether she'd seek a recount, saying "Let's see what the final numbers are but at this point, my focus is really on Dubie."

DSC07232 But she declined to concede that she had lost the race, or say whether she sees the race now as a two-person contest or three-person race.

"Look, all the votes have to counted and then we have to focus on Brian Dubie," she said. "I feel great about the race we've run and my focus right now is making sure our party, whoever the nominee is, can beat Brian Dubie."

Markowitz, who as secretary of state is Vermont's chief elections official, also explained the mechanics of how the vote gets certified. Within 24 hours, her office gets results. The day after the election, all town clerks overnight official returns to her office, and she beings to tabulate them. The votes are then certified legally next Tuesday, August 31. The secretary's office will have unofficial results earlier than that — but she couldn't say how early.

Racine wasn't ready to concede either, noting discrepancies in vote counts the Associated Press reported and actual vote tallies from the towns. In Williston, for instance, Racine said the AP reported Matt Dunne had received 1 vote, when in fact he had received 201.

DSC07285 "There needs to an officially certified number to declare a victor," Racine said. "When I noted a discrepancy of 200 votes in one candidate's numbers, this suggests it needs to be checked and double-checked so that we have an official tally of who wins. We don't simply rely on the numbers sent into a news service to say that's the official tally. That's not the way it works."

Asked whether he considers it a two-way race or three-way race, Racine said, "Deb Markowitz — I think the last numbers were 500 or 600 — I don't know that there could be mistakes of that size but that's why you do an official tally and I think she probably wants to wait for that to be done as well."

"And it's not a race anymore," Racine added. "The race ended at 7 o'clock last night. This is about getting an accurate count of the right numbers so we can determine who has won this nomination."

Will Racine seek a recount?

"There would be a lot of considerations," he hedged. "The question is how close are the numbers? Is there a concern about possible errors? What are the political implications of that? Yeah, we want to get this campaign underway really quickly."

DSC07296 Meanwhile, Matt Dunne, the Google executive and former state lawmaker from Hartland, conceded that he had lost the race but said he's already been encouraged to run again the future. He also brushed aside the suggestion made by some Democrats that he should have run for lieutenant governor, and would have won that race handily.

"Absolutely not," Dunne said. "I was going to share a vision with the state of Vermont that was about delivering an economy that works for all Vermonters and that's something that can really only be executed from the governor's office."

This article needs editing help. I would have kept reading otherwise. :/

Dunne really would have won for lite guv. It's a shame he didn't run for it.

Cece, I edited this blog post, hastily, perhaps. What did I miss?

great editing. not.

get your english right

To answer your question, Cathy ...

This sentence was sloppy:
"Shumlin said he's continue campaigning ... assumption that he was won the primary."

This quote needs an editorial fix:
"What the political implications of that?"

And there was inconsistent comma usage:
"afterward Markowitz and Racine didn't ..." vs. "Afterward, Shumlin told ..."

To name only a few.

Not great grammar. Agreed and apologies. It was hastily written to get the news out fast. We'll fix it. Stand by...

Is Shumlin wearing makeup in that first pic?

he's just really really ridiculously good-looking.

Any comments from Susan Bartlett?

Whoops... Guess I let a few things slip through. Not at my best today after being up until 1:30, then back on the web at 7 to update results... Sorry about that!

Photo finish.
It appears Shumlin at the wire by a flared nostril. Please hold all tickets until results are declared official.

Do to the past results of third place finishers I am sure Deb will call for Instant runoff voting.

"he's just really really ridiculously good-looking."

...and made of flesh-colored plasticine?

Recount is in Order

Considering everything at stake, it is my hope that Doug Racine and his campaign gives serious consideration to requesting a recount as concerns the Vermont Democratic gubernatorial primary election.

Many rank and file Democrats and also others who voted in the election as well, including many supporters of Peter Shumlin, had stated online that a recount should be done when final unofficial results had not yet been called by the press.

They stated their opinions that it was indeed crucial to make sure all votes were properly counted and accounted for so there would be no doubts of whom got the most votes and is rightly the Democratic nominee.

The fact is the race was way too close, especially knowing how easy it is for things to go wrong during the initial vote counting process in a statewide race, which the state auditors race from several years ago helped to illustrate, when one candidate seemed to win and on a recount another of candidates had been found to have actually received the most votes and had been duly elected.

In addition, since this was a primary election with a lower total of voters, it will not take as long as the aforementioned recount had, so this cannot be an excuse not to do so.

This election is far too important to allow any doubts or questions to linger over it, which would be the case if an official recount was not performed.

Morgan W. Brown

"Is Shumlin wearing makeup in that first pic?"

Yes. His nose is actually longer than that.

Was it even appropriate for Shumlin to "declare" himself the winner in the first place, based on unofficial vote results that are this close?

If he declared that he was the winner, it would be inappropriate. He didn't.

@ One_Vermonter:

Do you have reading comprehension issues? Did you bother to read this posting by Andy Bromage before posting your remark?

The above article states at least three times that Shumlin has declared himself the winner.

Start with the very first sentence of the article:

"With a 190-vote lead and all precincts reporting, Peter Shumlin is declaring victory in the five-way Democrat primary for governor."

How is that not declaring himself the winner?

Then there's the fourth paragraph:

"Afterward, Shumlin told reporters, "It appears that we've won. We believe we've won and obviously we're going to move forward on the basis that we're going to take on [Republican candidate] Brian [Dubie] and we're gonna get the job done.""

And the sixth paragraph:

"Meanwhile, Shumlin said he'll continue campaigning and fund-raising on the assumption that he won the primary."

Today's Free Press also reports Shumlin declaring himself the winner.

We know you're in love with Shumlin, but let's not deny reality about the character of your man.

You've agreed that it would be inappropriate for Shumlin to have declared himself the winner. The facts clearly show that he HAS declared himself the winner (and now also gone on public record (WDEV) telling Racine not to ask for a recount). So, Shumlin has behaved inappropriately.

Listen to what Shumlin actually said. He has chosen his words VERY carefully.

He said, 'It appears that we have won.'

He also said that he will wait for the official tally.

He did NOT say, 'I have won.'

There is a big difference.

Gee, apparently, it's not just me. Andy Bromage has also interpreted what you call Shumlin's "carefully chosen words" as Shumlin declaring himself the winner:

"With a 190-vote lead and all precincts reporting, Peter Shumlin is declaring victory . . ."

@ One_Vermonter:

For what it's worth, congrats. I understand your man has just been announed the winner by 197 votes by the Secretary of State (and that Racine is asking for a recount).

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