Democratic Nom for Lt. Gov. Remains Up in the Air

The race for Pennsylvania’s next Democratic Lieutenant Governor was still undecided as of Wednesday afternoon.

Voters went to polls Tuesday to decide between Centre County State Rep. H. Scott Conklin, former Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel and former Commonwealth Court judge Doris Smith-Ribner.

With 9,195 of 9,233 precincts (99 percent) reporting the race was too close to call with Saidel and Conklin both receiving 35 percent of the vote with Smith Ribner in third with 30 percent of the vote, according to the AP.

So basically it was a two-way race between Conklin and Saidel with Conklin holding less than a 5,000-vote advantage (316,456 to 311,724).

Conklin told that he was "very confident" that he would come out the victor.

But, he knew an automatic recount could be on the horizon if the two candidates were within half a percentage point of each other.

"It's very close right now," Conklin said.

Saidel wasn’t quite ready to throw in the towel as a recount seemed eminent: 

"As we await the final results of yesterday’s election, it appears more than 70 precincts have not been included in the vote count for Lieutenant Governor leaving the final outcome in question.  As we understand it, it is the prerogative of the Pennsylvania Secretary State to proceed with a recount. State election law provides for a process that will guarantee every vote is counted and tallied correctly. We have every confidence Secretary Cortes will proceed in an appropriate manner and we will do all we can to bring about an expeditious and accurate conclusion to the primary election." 

Conklin said that he learned that the unaccounted for precincts were all in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties and that all seven Delco and some of the Philly machines were unused or empty.

Whoever eventually comes out on top will face off against GOP nominee Jim Cawley. The Bucks County Commissioner won 26-percent of the vote in a nine-way battle.

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