Mike Huckabee wants retraction, caucus recount
Republican Mike Huckabee's campaign wants a retraction from the Washington state GOP chairman and a recount of Saturday's caucus results...
OLYMPIA — Republican Mike Huckabee's campaign wants a retraction from the Washington state GOP chairman and a recount of Saturday's caucus results that apparently gave Arizona Sen. John McCain a narrow win.
The former Arkansas governor's campaign argues that state party Chairman Luke Esser prematurely called the race for McCain Saturday night after 87 percent of the vote was counted.
"It's a major exercise, but Luke Esser owes the people of Washington nothing less," Huckabee adviser Jim Pinkerton said today.
Pinkerton said the campaign is asking Esser to retract the statement that McCain won. The campaign also wants either a recount or audit or inventory of what happened.
Esser said he'd be happy to do a recount, but that all that would entail would be calling the county chairs and asking them to verify the numbers they've already reported.
"We're happy to do that," he said. But, "our focus right now is to get a count completed before thinking about a recount."
Pinkerton said the campaign wants their attorneys and elections experts to determine the validity of the caucus results.
As of Sunday, with more than 93 percent of results in, Esser said McCain had 3,621 precinct delegates to Huckabee's 3,398.
Washington state's Republicans have yet to allocate the 40 delegates it will send to the national convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul from Sept. 1-4.
Washington is the only state where Republicans use both the primary and caucus results to allocate delegates. About half of the delegates will come from the presidential primary on Feb. 19, with the remainder coming from the caucus and convention process.
On the Democratic side, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama beat New York Sen. Hillary Clinton 2-to-1 in Saturday's caucuses.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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