Wednesday, December 21

360 Votes

One-fiftieth of one percent. That's the margin of victory for Bob McDonnell -- "Pat Robertson's candidate" -- in the Virginia 2005 attorney-general's race. Three circuit court judges oversaw a recount this week, but they denied several requests by the challenger, Democrat Creigh Deeds, who tried to get as many ballots as possible counted individually. Instead, the panel ordered only 7,915 ballots (out of 1.9 million cast) counted manually, while other tallies were merely double checked. In Loudon County, "not a single vote changed, and the recount was all but over by lunchtime."

Incoming moderate governor Tim Kaine now has to contend with a right-wingnut as AG. As the administration's chief legal counsel, McDonnell will play a role likely to be of great importance to the commonwealth's gay citizens, so we can expect four more years of embarrassing homophobia from my native state. [Sigh.]

Outgoing governor (and erstwhile presidential candidate) Mark Warner did add sexual orientation to the non-discrimination pledge covering state workers last week. While Kaine has promised to continue the policy, expect to see some activity in the 2006 General Assembly to overturn the order.