Two closely watched election contests are headed to a recount this week: the race for Cheri Beasley’s N.C. Supreme Court seat and the District 15 state Senate race between Tom Bradshaw and John Alexander.
Supreme Court candidate Mike Robinson filed for a recount Monday morning in his race against Beasley. Robinson trails Beasley by 5,427, or 0.22 percent of ballots cast – well within the 1 percent margin required for a recount.
And in Wake County, elections officials will hold a recount in the Bradshaw-Alexander race on Tuesday morning. Alexander leads by just 717 votes, or 0.89 percent of the total ballots cast, and Bradshaw filed for the recount Monday.
Bradshaw, a former Raleigh mayor and Democrat, faced Alexander in an expensive race for retiring Sen. Neal Hunt’s seat.
“I have heard from many supporters who feel strongly that we should ask for a recount to ensure the accuracy of the election results,” Bradshaw wrote in an email to supporters. “That is the purpose of the law.”
Alexander said he’s confident in the recount process. He says he hasn’t yet declared victory in the race, noting that earlier reports of a winning celebration were the result of a misunderstanding. “That’s his right, that’s his privilege,” Alexander said of Bradshaw’s request. “As much time and energy as his people have put in this, I don’t blame him.”
In the Supreme Court race – the only statewide contest to face a recount – the campaigns have been gearing up since Election Day. Robinson indicated his plans in a Facebook post on Nov. 5.
“We have worked too hard to give up,” he wrote. “I intend to continue fighting for every vote to which I am entitled until the results are certified and a recount is conducted.”
Beasley spoke Saturday at a gathering of the N.C. Democratic Party, which has backed her campaign. Republicans endorsed Robinson in the nonpartisan contest. She said she’s hired a team of lawyers to guide her campaign through the recount, and she thanked Democrats who have volunteered to monitor the process. The recount will be on Nov. 24, she said.
“You’re still standing with me to make sure this election is not stolen,” Beasley said.
N.C. Democratic Party chairman Randy Voller said a Beasley win is crucial to the party’s efforts to win a majority of Supreme Court seats in 2016. If Beasley keeps her seat, justices backed by Democrats will hold three out of four seats on the bench.