Raleigh, N.C. — Republican State Sen. David Rouzer has asked for a recount in the 7th District Congressional race, where he is trailing incumbent opponent U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre by 655 votes.
Tuesday is the deadline for candidates to ask for recounts of ballots.
In a statement, Rouzer said he wanted a recount because the vote margin is so slim.
"Considering this is the closest Congressional race in the country and in light of the irregularity previously found in Bladen County, which significantly reduced the vote margin at that time, I have decided to request a mandatory recount of the votes cast in the 7th Congressional District as allowed by law," he said. "In a race this close, accidental human error could easily change the outcome. It is important to ensure that every legal vote cast is properly and accurately counted."
McIntyre's campaign quickly responded to Rouzer's decision with criticism. In a statement, campaign manager Lachlan McIntosh said a review of the votes by all 12 county boards of election shows McIntyre is the winner.
“While we respect the legal right for a recount, it is unfortunate that taxpayer dollars, time and resources will be spent on a process that has been closely monitored," McIntosh said. "For someone who has claimed fiscal responsibility, David Rouzer is asking taxpayers to pay for his pursuit of his own personal political ambition in a district he had drawn for himself.”
The 7th District race was one of three races in North Carolina with unclear outcomes following Election Day.
On Monday, Democrat Linda Coleman conceded the lieutenant governor's race to Republican Dan Forest.
According to unofficial totals from the State Board of Elections, Forest finished 6,858 votes ahead of Coleman after counties submitted their certified results on Friday. The state board will meet next week to certify all results statewide.
Although Coleman was close enough to ask for a recount – the difference between the two was less than 0.2 percent out of more than 4.3 million votes cast – she said she didn't think that the effort would change the result.
In the Senate District 1 race, incumbent Dare County Democrat Stan White had a slim lead when the polls closed, but he trailed Republican challenger Bill Cook on Friday. If those results hold up, it would be the first time in memory that votes counted after Election Day changed a legislative race in North Carolina.
The State Board of Elections will meet on Nov. 27 to certify all results statewide.