- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 22, 2004

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The head of the state Democratic Party said late last night that recount results from heavily Democratic King County give Democrat Christine Gregoire an eight-vote victory in the closest governor’s race in state history.

Neither King County nor the state 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.

“We’re confident Christine Gregoire has been elected the governor of the state of Washington,” Democratic Chairman Paul Berendt said. “I believe Dino Rossi should concede.”

Mr. 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.

“We are not releasing our results until tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.,” said King County elections spokeswoman Bobbie Egan, who confirmed that both parties received the recount data yesterday.

Rossi spokeswoman Mary Lane said Republicans are looking at the data also, but had not drawn any conclusions.

“It’s just too close to call,” she said.

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