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Recount Begins in PA GOP Sen. Primary  05/28 08:58


   HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Recounting began Friday in the too-close-to-call 
Republican primary contest for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, with barely 900 
votes separating celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund 
CEO David McCormick.

   Montour County began the recount Friday, one of seven counties that said 
they would start right away. Most of Pennsylvania's 67 counties have said they 
will begin next week, with a Wednesday deadline to start.

   For less populated counties, the process could take a day. More heavily 
populated counties say they will need several days.

   The recount began as a court battle being waged all the way to the U.S. 
Supreme Court and the state Supreme Court could affect which ballots get 

   Counties have until June 7 to finish a recount and another day to report 
results to the state.

   The initial result from last week's primary election has remained elusive, 
since some counties were still tallying up hundreds or thousands of remaining 
ballots Friday, including write-in, provisional and absentee ballots from 
voters overseas and members of the military.

   Oz, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, led McCormick by just 
922 votes, or 0.07 percentage points, out of more than 1.3 million ballots 
reported by the state Friday afternoon.

   The race has triggered Pennsylvania's automatic recount law, with the 
separation between the candidates inside the law's 0.5% margin. The Associated 
Press will not declare a winner in the race until the recount is complete on 
June 8.

   The winner of the GOP race will take on the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. 
John Fetterman, in November's midterm contest. Democrats see it as their best 
opportunity to pick up a seat in the closely divided Senate. Republican Sen. 
Pat Toomey is retiring after serving two terms.

   McCormick's campaign, meanwhile, has been waging a fight in court to 
scrounge for votes that might help him close the gap with Oz.

   Oz, the Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party oppose 
McCormick's quest to force counties to count certain mail-in ballots -- ones 
without the voter's handwritten date on the envelope -- that might otherwise 
get thrown out on a technicality.

   Some counties have agreed to count them, while others have not.

   A separate case involving those ballots from last November's election was 
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday. That came hours after the 3rd 
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion to stay its earlier decision that 
such ballots should be counted, despite the state election law's requirement 
that voters write a date on the return envelope.

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