Thursday, December 02, 2004

Kerry Campaign Keeping Eye on Ohio Cases

Kerry Campaign Keeping Eye on Ohio Cases

COLUMBUS, Ohio Dec 2, 2004 — John Kerry's campaign has joined a lawsuit by third-party presidential candidates seeking a recount in Ohio. A lawyer for the campaign said Thursday the campaign does not question the Democrat's loss but wants any counting to take place statewide.

Kerry's campaign this week joined the suit filed by Green and Libertarian party candidates seeking a recount of the vote in Delaware County. A judge in that county issued a restraining order blocking that request, but the order expired Thursday. A hearing is set in federal court in Columbus on Friday on the recount request.

"The Kerry-Edwards campaign felt it had to intervene," said Daniel Hoffheimer, a Cincinnati lawyer who represents the campaign in Ohio. "We did not want a recount to go forward if it only was 87 (of Ohio's 88) counties."

The two minor parties also have asked for a statewide recount, but a judge ruled that cannot begin until Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell certifies the vote, likely on Monday. The parties say they have raised the $113,600 fee the state requires to conduct the recount.

The Kerry campaign isn't disputing the outcome of President Bush's Nov. 2 victory in Ohio a 136,000-vote margin, based on unofficial results but wants to make sure any recount is "done accurately and completely," Hoffheimer said.



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