OLYMPIA, Wash. — Republican Dino Rossi on Wednesday urged his Democratic rival in the closest governor's race in state history to join him in calling for another vote.
"The uncertainty surrounding this election process isn't just bad for you and me -- it is bad for the entire state," Rossi said, reading from a letter he said he sent to Democrat Christine Gregoire. "People need to know for sure that the next governor actually won the election."
Gregoire spokesman Morton Brilliant said she would not be joining Rossi's call. "It's irresponsible to spend $4 million in taxpayer money on a new election just because you don't like losing this one," Brilliant said.
Gregoire is scheduled to be certified as governor-elect today, by 129 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast.
Rossi made his plea for a revote, which would have to be approved by the state Legislature, during a news conference. "A revote would be the best solution for the people of our state, and would give us a legitimate governorship," his letter said.
More than eight weeks after election day, the Republican secretary of state, Sam Reed, planned to certify the results of an unprecedented third vote tally today. The statewide hand recount put Gregoire ahead for the first time.
Rossi won the regular tally last month by 261 votes, triggering an automatic machine recount. He won that by 42 votes, but then lost the hand count.
While noting that he could contest the election, Rossi said a legal challenge could drag on for weeks or months. The better way to clear up the mess, he said, would be to ask lawmakers to pass a bill calling for a special election as soon as the Democrat-controlled state Legislature convenes in early January for the 2005 session.
Earlier in the day, Rossi spokeswoman Mary Lane said he and his advisors, including state GOP Chairman Chris Vance, were weighing whether to contest the results.