In a contest that seems to be giving everyone whiplash, state senator Mark Herring (D) has officially pulled ahead of state senator Mark Obenshain (R) by 117 votes. The two are facing off to be Virginia’s attorney general, and the thinnest of margins have separated the candidates. The consensus seems to be that the race will almost certainly head to a recount, and that we won’t have official results until December. If two candidates in a statewide contest in Virginia are separated by less than 1 percent of the vote, one of them can call for a recount. And if they’re separated by half a percent or less, the state will pay for a recount if a candidate requests one.
This saga is oddly similar to the state’s 2005 attorney-general election, when then-delegate Bob McDonnell beat then–state senator Creigh Deeds by 360 votes.