The already ridiculously close race between Virginia Attorney General candidates Mark Obenshain (R) and Mark Herring (D), both state senators, is now down to a virtual tie. As election personnel continue to adjust vote totals, the official state Board of Elections count now shows Democrat Herring taking the lead over Republican Obenshain, the latter who has led most of the way.
The totals now show Herring with 1,103,610 votes and Obenshain claiming 1,103,493 tallies, or 49.89% to 49.88%, this from more than 2.212 million votes cast. The change comes with new vote counts coming from Democratic strongholds in Fairfax County and the City of Richmond. As usual in these types of close elections, uncounted machines or ballots always seem to appear long after Election Day.
Certification of the vote is required on Nov. 25, and if this current count ends up being final expect a very long recount process that will obviously end up in court regardless of which of the two candidates is officially certified. If the margin remains in the 100-vote range, anything can still happen.
The Lone Star State is the first to open 2014 candidate filing in anticipation of their March 4 primary. In the congressional delegation, the following incumbents have already pulled their filing documents, signifying that they will run for another term next year:
• Rep. Al Green (D-TX-9) – 5 terms
• Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX-12) – 9 terms
• Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX-15) – 9 terms
• Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) – 10 terms
• Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX-19) – 6 terms
• Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) – 14 terms
• Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX-26) – 6 terms
• Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) – 11 terms
The two most interesting names on the early list are representatives Neugebauer and Johnson. Retirement rumors had been circling around each, but the pair pulling filing papers on the first available day will put such talk to bed.
Also filing were both major party gubernatorial candidates, each of whom appear to be the consensus choice of their political constituencies even at this early point in the cycle. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis drew papers to run for the state’s top office and will likely engage in a year-long campaign against one another.
The Texas filing process ends on Dec. 9, so all candidates still have plenty of time to complete their filings.