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Contest Option Schapiro: Obenshain could use nuclear option in AG race

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Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013 12:00 am

Republican Mark Obenshain is trailing Democrat Mark Herring for attorney general by 164 votes. Obenshain could win with as few as 71 — with not a single one cast by an ordinary Virginian. It is a nuclear option that takes the election out of the hands of the electorate.

Obenshain could initiate what state law calls a “contest” in which the 140-member legislature decides the attorney generalship by a majority vote. That would be a minimum of 71. They shouldn’t be too difficult for Obenshain to round up. There are 87 Republican legislators. Many of them don’t like one bit that their party could be completely shut out of statewide office.

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