OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The head of the state Democratic Party said late yesterday that recount results from King County give Democrat Christine Gregoire an eight-vote victory in the closest governor's race in state history.
Neither King County nor the Republican party could confirm the hand recount results last night. But if the Democrats' analysis is correct, it's a stunning reversal in the gubernatorial race, which has been hotly contested ever since Election Day.
Republican Dino Rossi won the first count by 261 votes and won a machine recount by 42 votes, out of 2.9 million ballots cast.
"We're confident Christine Gregoire has been elected" governor, Democratic Chairman Paul Berendt said. "I believe Dino Rossi should concede."
Berendt and Democratic party officials reached their conclusion after crunching numbers supplied by King County. The county has finished tallying its 900,000 ballots, but election officials said they still need to reconcile differences in the precinct totals.
The Rossi camp has said that if it lost the third count it might challenge the election in court.