Barnett calls for House 92 recount

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 13, 2007

Saying he has not conceded the race, second-place finisher PaulBarnett Friday requested an examination of votes in the Republicanprimary for District 92 House of Representatives.

Apparent winner Becky Currie led the three-candidate field with523 votes, or 50.8 percent, while Barnett received 457 votes, or 44percent. Gene Buckles was third with 49 votes.

Barnett said he sent certified letters Friday to the other twocandidates notifying them of his intentions.

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In requesting the examination, Barnett cited the possibility ofa runoff should there be an eight-vote swing in the results.Therefore, he said, an examination is warranted.

“While the findings may yield the same results, this is animportant step that must be taken in this race and many othersthroughout the state,” Barnett said in a statement, which expressedhis concerns about the state’s current primary system and aboutactivities at some polling places.

When contacted Saturday afternoon, Currie said she had not seenBarnett’s letter. She acknowledged it was Barnett’s prerogative toseek the examination.

Currie, though, also disputed Barnett’s math regarding runoffpossibilities. She said her understanding was there would have tobe a 14-vote swing for a runoff.

“My understanding is those votes aren’t there,” she said. “I’vewon this election and it needs to be called.”

Currie maintained she wanted what is “fair and right.” She saidshe would take a wait and see approach to the examinationprocess.

Chuck Nelms, Republican party chairman for Lincoln County, saidBarnett is welcome to request an examination of the ballots.However, Nelms said the ballots had been counted by computer andaccounted for in comparison with voter sign-in books at the pollingplaces.

“We came to the conclusion the vote stood as it was,” Nelmssaid.

Most of District 92 is in Lincoln County and also includes partsof Copiah and Franklin counties.

Nelms sad a date for an examination has not been set. He saidall parties involved in the race would be invited to attend aballot examination.

The winner of the Republican primary will go on to face D.W.Maxwell in the Nov. 6 general election. Maxwell was unopposed forthe Democratic nomination in the race.