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Milne Says No Recount, But He's Not Giving Up

Bob Kinzel
Sec. of State Jim Condos (seated, turned away) sits with major party representatives in Montpelier on Wednesday. The final count showed that Gov. Peter Shumlin's margin of victory over Republican challenger Scott Milne was less than 2 percent.

About an hour after the state canvassing committee certified Gov. Peter Shumlin’s roughly 2,400 vote victory over Scott Milne, Milne said he would not seek a recount.

Since the margin of victory was under 2 percent, Milne was legally entitled to a recount. But he says it would have cost the state as much as $60,000 and he doubted that the outcome would have changed.

“We would have had to arguably get down into double digits, less than a hundred votes, I think before it would have probably made sense to go forward with the recount,” said Milne. “It would be going to Legislature anyway.”

Because no candidate received 50 percent of the vote, lawmakers will elect the next governor by a secret ballot on Jan. 7.

"I had 15 people walk up to me and tell me I better stay in or they are going to be disappointed. It is a balancing act." - GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne on why he is not conceding the race at this time

Milne says he won’t campaign actively among members of the Legislature but he’s also not conceding this race.

Instead, it’s likely that he’ll ask lawmakers to keep an open mind until January. That way they can turn to Milne in the event that there’s a crisis of gubernatorial leadership over the next seven weeks.

“I just came from a lunch at one of the busier restaurants in Vermont. I had 15 people walk up to me and tell me I better stay in or they’re going to be disappointed. It’s a balancing act,” said Milne. “I want to be sure those people are not disenfranchised, and that I’m representing their voice as we figure out what the best way to move forward is.”

Milne says he’ll outline his future plans at a news conference next week.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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