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Democrat Wins House Race in Squeaker; Appeal Vowed

November 16, 1994|From Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Democratic Rep. Sam Gejdenson came out ahead by four votes Tuesday after a recount of his two-vote victory in the nation's closest House race, but his opponent vowed to appeal to the courts and to the new GOP-controlled Congress.

Seven-term congressman Gejdenson had 79,160 votes to Republican Edward W. Munster's 79,156 votes.

Secretary of State Pauline Kezer declined to declare a winner. "I'm choosing my words carefully because it's a hot legal battle and I don't want to get in the middle of it," she said at a news conference.

Munster, who had also narrowly lost to Gejdenson two years ago, said he would file a challenge in state Supreme Court over the way absentee ballots were counted.

Republicans said the outcome could ultimately be decided in Congress, where the GOP takes control in January.

The Constitution gives the House ultimate authority to decide who is seated, said Rep. Bill Thomas of Bakersfield, ranking Republican on the Committee on House Administration, which would oversee such disputes.

Gejdenson was out of the state and couldn't be reached for comment. But his political director denounced Munster's plan to contest the results.

"That's just not the way our democracy works," Donna Parson said. "It's disgraceful that he's going to try to thwart the will of the people."

Another dispute was brewing over the close Maryland governor's race, with Democrat Parris Glendening ending up ahead after a weeklong count of absentee ballots. Republican candidate Ellen Sauerbrey refused to concede.

The final, unofficial tally gave Glendening 706,531 votes to 701,126 for Sauerbrey. A handful of absentee overseas ballots remained to be counted, with certified results not expected until Dec. 7.

The 5,405-vote margin amounted to 0.25% of the votes cast.

Glendening's lieutenant governor is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

The Sauerbrey campaign again claimed there were irregularities in the election, but Glendening dismissed the charge as frivolous.

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