GOP, expert react to possible recount

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - As political heavyweights prepare for--or wait to find out if they'll be included in--round two, GOP leaders are left in a quandary.

"We're in a bit of uncharted waters," said Alabama Republican Party chairman Mike Hubbard.

Never before, Hubbard says, has the thought of a recount surfaced following a primary election.  If the request is made, staffers will be ready.

"It will be a logistical challenge. We would have to hire workers and overseers to comply and do it in a short amount of time," Hubbard explained.

At this point, Dr. Robert Bentley holds an ever so slight lead over Tim James.

While voters get the chance to regroup, political experts are still talking about Bentley's apparent second place finish.

"James and Byrne hammered at each other. It sort of convinced voters not to like either one of them and to look for an alternative, and I think Dr. Bentley was that alternative," said Brad Moody of Auburn Montgomery.

With a little more than a month until the next election day, Moody says candidates need to adjust their strategies--especially the negative talk.

"It seems to me, that at some point, [Byrne] may need those James voters. He may need them in the runoff," Moody explained.

Recount or no recount, voters say they hope the candidates take a positive tone in the weeks ahead.

"We've got grown people here fighting on TV. Nobody's trying to be the bigger adult. And they're doing a childish game," said Timothy Johnson of Montgomery.

Hubbard says any recounts will be paid for by the candidate's campaign.

Despite all this, GOP leaders say they're looking at the big picture.  61% of voters voted Republican in the gubernatorial primaries Tuesday.

Party leaders say that's an encouraging sign of things to come.

The winner of the republican runoff election will face Democratic candidate Ron Sparks in November.

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