By PHILLIP RAWLS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State Republican Party Chairman Mike
Hubbard said it may be the middle of next week before an
unprecedented recount is completed in the Republican runoff for
governor, putting a crimp in the campaign for the July 13 vote.
Tim James, who came in third, just 167 votes behind second-place
finisher Robert Bentley, orignally asked for a recount in 40 of
Alabama's 67 counties with the most Republican votes.
But he announced Tuesday night he was expanding the request
statewide. James is hoping that by recounting all 484,535 ballots
he will find enough votes to overtake the Tuscaloosa
doctor-legislator and face Bradley Byrne in the runoff.
James, a Greenville developer who will have to pay for the
recount, decided to go statewide after the 40 counties proposed
recount costs that came in below the campaign's anticipated budget
of $200,000, spokesman Brett Hall said.
Hubbard said the company that provides election equipment has
already picked it up from some counties and now must return it.
Then it will take at least one day to run the paper ballots through
the counters, he said.
"I'm hoping by the middle of next week," he said in an
That means two weeks of the six-week-long runoff will be gone
before the field is set for the July 13 ballot.
Byrne, a former chancellor of Alabama's two-year college system,
won the primary and automatically advanced to the runoff.
County Republican Party leaders are working with local election
officials to determine what the recount will cost the James
campaign. Hubbard said there is no precedent to use because there
has never been a statewide recount in Alabama with electronic
counting of paper ballots.
Hall said the estimated prices received Tuesday ranged from
$5,500 in Baldwin County to a range of $1,200 to $2,000 for
Montgomery County. He said the cost varies according to whether the
counties have the counting equipment on hand, and those with the
equipment on hand may start their recounts Thursday.
Hubbard said each county's recount will be conducted with
representatives of James' campaign present. Bentley and Byrne also
plan to have people watching.
By PHILLIP RAWLS