State senator 'distressed' over AG fundraising

11/13/2013, 10:49 a.m.
“I am extremely distressed and concerned that the attorney general would fundraise for his friend Senator Obenshain at this time," ...
State Sen. A. Donald McEachin

Domocratic state Sen. A. Donald McEachin (Henrico) is not happy that Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is sending out fundraising appeals for Sen. Mark Obenshain’s potential recount.

“I am extremely distressed and concerned that the attorney general would fundraise for his friend Senator Obenshain at this time," said McEachin. "As our attorney general, Mr. Cuccinelli has oversight responsibilities for the looming recount. As the chief lawyer for the commonwealth, Virginians deserve better."

Results from the Nov. 5 race for Virginia's next attorney general deadline were certified by local election boards on Nov. 12. According to the State Board of Elections, Democrat Mark Herring has a narrow vote lead of just 106 votes out of 2.2 million cast, over Republican Obenshain.

Obenshain led for the majority of count since Nov. 5, with Herring taking the lead just one time before finally taking the lead earlier this week. On late Tuesday, Herring claimed victory but the close results almost certainly means that a recount will take place.

Political observers said Tuesday that another round of lead changes may indeed occur, but is unlikely, based on past reviews and recounts in the commonwealth.

“We owe it to the people of Virginia to make sure we get it right, and that every legitimate vote is counted and subject to uniform rules,” said Obenshain in a statement. “We have seen significant swings in the vote count over the last several days as errors are corrected as a part of the regular canvass process.”

McEachin believes that it will be an injustice if Cuccinelli, who, on Nov. 5, lost his bid for governor to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, has oversight over the recount.

“He is someone who has a critical role to play to help ensure that Virginians have confidence in the outcome and know that our elections are professional, fair and non-partisan," said McEachin. "Attorney General Cuccinelli needs to take his responsibilities seriously in this process and refrain from his overt and extreme partisanship.

“I call on the attorney general to stop tainting the electoral process and to refrain from fundraising for Senator Obenshain. I further call on Senator Obenshain to recognize the importance of Virginians having faith in this process and in the eventual outcome and to therefore ask the Attorney General, to stop fundraising and to conduct himself in a way befitting an elected official with responsibilities. “

Virginia certifies the election results Nov. 25. After that, each candidate has the right to request a recount, at state expense, because the margin will be less than one half of one percent.