VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Delegate-elect Nancy Guy’s margin of victory grew after a recount of the ballots in her 83rd District House of Delegates race.
At 11:15 a.m. Friday, the last absentee ballot that had gone through the high-speed counter as lawyers and election officials closely watched the votes and how they were tabulated.
According to her attorney Jeff Breit, Guy, a Democrat, picked up 13 votes during the recount process in Virginia Beach on Thursday and another on Friday, adding to her 27-vote margin and giving her a 41-vote lead against Republican Del. Chris Stolle.
Neither candidate was at the recount, but Stolle’s Chief of Staff Cindy DiFranco was there the whole time over two days.
“It could have gone either way, but just as long as all the votes have been counted. The district lines were redrawn, and Del. Stolle maintained his lead in Virginia Beach. They counted all the votes, recounted the votes, and that is all you can ask for,” DiFranco said.
Stolle filed a court petition for the recount on November 20 and a judge set the official guidelines a week later.
The new 41-vote margin comes after a count of 4,000 absentee ballots on Friday in Virginia Beach.
The recount included 19 precincts total in Virginia Beach and one partial precinct in Norfolk, as well as the absentees.
Breit, Guy’s attorney, was surprised Guy picked up so many votes.
“It’s a lot. You usually expect three, five, six votes to change, so to have that many is not usual, but 41 is still good,” Breit said.
So why was the race so close? Guy said Stolle was an entrenched incumbent, but there’s also change in the air.
“The citizens in the 83rd [District] felt differently on certain key issues and they wanted a delegate who thinks like they do, and that’s how I read what happened,” Guy told 10 On Your Side.
Guy was not at the election recount in Virginia Beach because she was at legislative training in Richmond.
“It’s like a debating society. We are all given legislative bills, and we have to debate them back and forth, so we know the decorum and what the rules are when the technology all works,” she said.
“I am really proud of Nancy Guy your new delegate. I do want to say to Mr. Stolle, he has been a great public servant,” Breit said.
10 On Your Side asked Guy what her big issues will be when she takes office in January.
“At the top of the list: voter equality, women’s equality, ratifying the ERA, gun safety legislation, and those were all big issues that we will all be working on together,” she said.
The recount still needs to be approved by a three-judge panel next Wednesday.
Stolle congratulated Guy on winning the race Friday afternoon during a phone call.
“I got a phone call from Del. Stolle congratulating me on my win, and I am up here in the Capitol already getting the training to represent the people of the 83rd House District,” Guy told 10 On Your Side on a Facetime call Friday.
Stolle then released a statement on the unofficial recount results.
Here is his statement in full:
“I want to thank Judge Croshaw for his leadership, the Registrars, the City Clerks and their staff, and most importantly the citizen officials and observers who stepped up to serve on the recount teams. While the results were not what we had hoped for, I am so very proud of all that we have accomplished working together; modernization of our transportation system, our work to support veterans and their families, preserving Pleasure House Point, becoming national leaders in adapting to flooding, and improving the quality and access to healthcare for all Virginians. I am truly honored to have served the citizens of the 83rd District. I want to thank the volunteers and supporters who have worked so hard for me and I am truly touched by their kind words and friendship. Earlier this afternoon I called Nancy Guy to congratulate her on winning a hard-fought campaign and wished her success in representing us in Richmond.”– Republican Del. Chris Stolle
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