Recount gives Bentley larger lead over James

Published 9:13 am Monday, June 21, 2010

A statewide recount of Republican ballots actually gave Robert Bentley a wider lead over third-place gubernatorial finisher Tim James, who requested the recount.

With nearly all of the ballots recounted Friday afternoon, Bentley had a 257-vote margin over James. Bentley will be in a runoff July 13 against first-place finisher Bradley Byrne.

“It’s been a long two weeks, but tonight we declare victory – a victory for you, for Alabama, and for all of those willing to join us in fighting the federal government, cleaning up Montgomery, and putting Alabamians back to work,” Bentley said in a statement.

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The change in the number of votes after a recount of Republican ballots in Escambia County Wednesday was negligible.

Election workers began at 8:30 a.m. with the tedious job of re-feeding all of the Republican ballots into the machines. They were finished in about an hour and 15 minutes.

Probate Judge Emilie Mims said any votes were not read by the machine were hand counted, and only a few needed to be hand-counted.

“Everything went smoothly,” she said Wednesday afternoon.

In Escambia County, James picked up two votes, for a total of 1,104; Byrne picked up one vote, for a total of 1,399; and Bentley’s vote count stayed the same, for a total of 550.