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As Virginia Recount Goes Statewide, Herring Widens Lead Over Obenshain

Numbers a checked during a recount of the Virginia race for Attorney General at the Fairfax Courthouse, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 in Fairfax, Va. Fairfax County will recount about 300,000 paper ballots.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
Numbers a checked during a recount of the Virginia race for Attorney General at the Fairfax Courthouse, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 in Fairfax, Va. Fairfax County will recount about 300,000 paper ballots.

As the recount in Virginia's cliff-hanging race for attorney general goes statewide today, Democrat Mark Herring has expanded his lead.

On Monday the recount of the attorney general's election started in Fairfax County, Alexandria and Chesapeake. While Herring started the day with a 165-vote lead over Republican Mark Obenshain, by the end of the count he picked up enough votes to widen his lead to 305 votes, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Today the recount begins in the rest of the commonwealth, and given Monday's results, Herring's lawyers are more confident than before that he'll formally win the race.

"Having seen the early recount results, we're even more confident than we were at the beginning of this recount," says Marc Elias, the lead attorney with Herring's campaign.

Obenshain's legal team is cautioning that what happened in Fairfax County and Alexandria won't necessarily be replicated across the rest of Virginia, though.

"You're looking at the results from the areas that are the very best for Herring. So that's the best he can expect. The rest of the commonwealth is very red," says Stephen Piepgrass, a lawyer for Obenshain.

The winner of the recount will likely be announced by the end of the week. Regardless of which way it goes, the final results will shift attention to the State Senate, where both men serve and where a special election will be held to fill the seat of the eventual victor of the attorney general's race.

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