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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Pacific NW

GOP disputes governor’s election with Legislature

Associated Press

SEATTLE – As a fallback to a court challenge in the disputed Washington governor’s election, Republicans have filed the same election contest with the state Legislature.

“We did this to cover all our bases,” said Mary Lane, a spokeswoman for Dino Rossi. Rossi, a real estate agent and former state senator, narrowly won the original vote count and a mandatory recount. But in a hand recount, he lost to Democrat Christine Gregoire by 129 votes out of 2.9 million ballots cast.

Republicans have already filed a legal challenge against the hand recount in Chelan County Superior Court. They contend that mistakes during the vote-counting obscured the results of the November election and are calling for another statewide vote.

That same challenge was filed with both the House and Senate Friday evening in Olympia, “as an insurance policy,” Lane said late Saturday.

“We believe the court is the best place to contest the election and we hope that the contest will continue in the court system, but we also wanted to keep our options open,” Lane said.

The challenge, however, goes to what could be considered an unsympathetic Democrat-controlled Legislature, which certified the election Jan. 11 despite a GOP request for a two-week delay.

Gregoire was sworn into office Jan. 12.

Democrats have also said the battle should be waged in the courts and that the Legislature should not be involved.

State Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said Saturday she was not aware of Friday’s filing, but wasn’t surprised.

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