Huckabee challenges result in Washington
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is refusing to concede a loss to Arizona Senator John McCain in the Washington Republican caucuses.
The Huckabee campaign is asking for a full recount of the caucus votes in order to determine the true winner of the contest.
McCain believes he won the race, but has conceded to Huckabee’s right to ask for a recount.
Ed Rollins, Huckabee’s campaign chairman, said the Washington Republican caucus contest was called before all the votes were counted.
Luke Esser, Washington state’s Republican Party chairman, called the race for McCain after 87 percent of votes were counted, declaring McCain as the winner by 242 vote.
“Congratulations to Senator McCain for a hard-fought win, his second caucus victory in the 2008 Presidential nomination process,” Esser said in a statement at the time.
“And congratulations to Governor Huckabee for his strong second-place finish.”
Rollins said about 1,500 votes had not been counted when Esser issued his statement, calling it an “outrage,” according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
“It would be a disservice to every voter in Washington state to not pursue a full accounting of all votes cast,” Rollins said, according to the Post-Intelligencer.
“We are prepared to go to court, and we are also prepared to take our case all the way to the Republican National Convention in September.”
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“We want a fair election up there, and we’re just not sure we had one,” Huckabee said in an interview on NBC’s Today Show.
Lawyers for the Huckabee campaign arrived in Washington state on Sunday evening to asses the scene.
John McCain said in a press conference on Monday that he believed it was “pretty clear” he had won the Washington contest, but stated Huckabee had the right to call for a recount if he chose to do so.
The Washington caucus was the only race Huckabee lost to McCain on Saturday.
Huckabee defeated McCain by a narrow margin in the Louisiana Republican primary and beat him by a large tally in the Kansas caucuses.
In the Democratic races on Saturday, Illinois Senator Barack Obama won over New York Senator Hillary Clinton in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington.