Wednesday, December 29, 2004

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Dino Rossi yesterday urged his Democratic rival in the closest governor’s race in state history to join him in calling for a revote.

“The uncertainty surrounding this election process isn’t just bad for you and me — it is bad for the entire state,” Mr. Rossi said, reading from a letter he said he sent to Democrat Christine Gregoire. “People need to know for sure that the next governor actually won the election.”

The Gregoire camp immediately dismissed the notion that a revote might be feasible. She is scheduled to be certified as Washington’s governor-elect today, by a scant 129 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast.

“It’s irresponsible to spend $4 million in taxpayer money on a new election just because you don’t like losing this one,” Gregoire spokesman Morton Brilliant said.

Mr. Rossi made his plea for a revote, which would have to be approved by the state Legislature, during a news conference.

“A revote would be the best solution for the people of our state, and would give us a legitimate governorship,” his letter said.

Today’s planned certification of the vote by Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed will come more than eight weeks after Election Day. An unprecedented statewide hand recount — the third vote count — put Mrs. Gregoire, a three-time attorney general, ahead for the first time, by just a tiny fraction of 1 percent.

Mr. Rossi, a real estate agent and former state senator, won the initial tally last month by 261 votes, triggering an automatic machine recount. He won that count, too, by 42 votes.

Earlier in the day, Rossi spokeswoman Mary Lane said he and his advisers, including state Republican Chairman Chris Vance, were weighing whether to contest the results.

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