Recount continues for 14th District Senate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2004

The March primary may be over but 14th District Ohio Senate candidates Jean Schmidt and Tom Niehaus still await official word as to who won the Republican nomination.

The 14th District includes Clermont, Brown, Adams and Scioto counties and western part of Lawrence County. Election night totals had Schmidt with 16,911 votes beating Niehaus with 16,849. If the margin of victory is less than one half-percent of the vote total - 168 votes in this case - state law requires a recount.

An official canvass conducted to answer voter registration questions and include overseas military ballots had Niehaus with 17,092 beating Schmidt's 17,066. The actual recount began Monday in Clermont County and continued in Lawrence Tuesday.

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So far, Niehaus leads by 24 votes.

In Lawrence County, Schmidt received 1,913 votes - a gain of seven over the canvass. Niehaus received 1,005 - a gain of one, according to Board of Elections officials.

"While I am disappointed my opponent gained six votes in Lawrence County, I am confident the staff at the Board of Elections has conducted a thorough and professional recount, " Niehaus said.

Schmidt did not return messages left at her office.

The recount continue today in Adams County, Brown on Thursday and will finish in Scioto County Friday.

"Once the Scioto County Board of Elections finishes their recount, certifies the results and reports these result to the Clermont County Board of Elections, the Clermont board can then announce the official results," said James Lee, a spokesperson for Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.

"I would not be surprised if it is Friday. I do anticipate it to be Friday."

Clermont County, by far the largest of the five counties, reported its totals Monday. Niehaus received 10,093 votes to 9,940 for Schmidt. This differs significantly from the 9,973 votes Niehaus got and 9,855 Schmidt unofficially reported on election night. LawrenceCounty's election night totals were 991 for Niehaus and 1,896 for Schmidt.

Both candidates are currently state representatives. The winner will face Democrat and political newcomer Paul Schwietering in the November general election.