Recounts may be in doubt

Not giving up yet. Friday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James blasted an Attorney General's opinion that would keep him off the July 13th runoff ballot. James, who finished third in the voting behind Dr. Robert Bentley and front runner Bradley Byrne says the opinion is outrageous. And, James says because of the opinion Republican party leaders are having second thoughts about granting his request for re-counting of the primary ballots in all 67 counties.

One of the problems is Tim James and Attorney General Troy King it seems disagree over what the Attorney General's opinion says. James is upset over that opinion because he says the Attorney General is interpreting the law to mean - there can't be a recount of the votes from the last election until after the run-off. Troy King says that's not true. He says there can be a recount but it's up to the Republican party to decide whether to have it and if so when. But James says because of the A.G.'s opinion the party maybe backing out. "They said they were not inclined to push for a recount. And they didn't explain why. I wasn't face to face. I was on the telephone. I said why not and they said well we're getting a lot of pressure. A lot of pressure from whom?  was asked. He said "From other Republicans."

King, though, clears up one aspect of his opinion. "State law does allow for a candidate to petition for a recount. Tim James has done that. State law does not provide at what time that recount may occur. So, the party may make that decision."

And, according to party chairman Mike Hubbard, the party has already made that decision. "The plan is to do it on Tuesday morning. Everybody starts at the same time so we don't have (different) returns coming in. Everybody's doing it the same."

Secretary of State Beth Chapman is the one who asked for an Attorney General's opinion. "I sat in the Attorney General's office yesterday (Thursday) with seven attorneys who were state attorneys - totally non-partisan, totally non-political folks and heard their different arguments. It was very intriguing. I learned a great deal. The bottom line is the general consensus is - was what the Attorney General has released in his opinion and we have and will continue to follow that opinion.."

Obviously, there still seems to be a lot of confusion over what the recount law says or doesn't say after a primary. James says he doesn't  plan to contest the run-off results however they turn out on Tuesday. And, whether James withdraws or not, he says it depends on whether there is a recount of the Republican gubernatorial primary votes.

The state Republican party chairman has responded to this latest development. Mike Hubbard said  "The James campaign has petitioned each county for a recount, and it is up to the candidate to decide whether or not to proceed with the process. He initiated it. Only he can end it at this point."