With votes finally in from all 67 counties, Pennsylvania election officials report that state Rep. H. Scott Conklin holds a 3,862-vote lead over former Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
But the election has yet to be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of State, and Saidel said Wednesday he wants to proceed with the recount that state law calls for when an election is this close - with a margin of less than 0.5 percent.
Saidel, in a statement, said: "It is my understanding that nearly 4,000 absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, the majority of them from the greater Philadelphia area.
"State law provides for an automatic recount to ensure that Pennsylvania elections respect the highest principles of our democracy," he said. "In that spirit, and out of respect to the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who placed their trust in me this election, I believe a recount is in the best interest of our political system and we look forward to participating in the process as it moves forward."
Tor Michaels, a spokesman for Conklin, who represents part of Centre County in the state House, said, "We continue to strongly and humbly believe that a recount will confirm what we already know."
Counties had until Tuesday afternoon to submit their totals to Harrisburg.
The unofficial results at that time had Conklin with 318,310 votes and Saidel with 314,448 votes.
Former Commonwealth Court Judge Doris A. Smith-Ribner, the third candidate in the race, had 49,725 votes 268,585 votes and trailed Conklin by 49,725 votes.
The state has until Thursday to rule on a recount, which, if undertaken, must be completed by June 9.
Without saying so directly, the Conklin campaign seemed to suggest that Saidel should concede the primary and save the cost of a recount, which it said would be about $500,000.
"That decision lies squarely with the honorable gentlemen from Philadelphia," Michaels said.