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GOP candidate running for Yarmuth's seat to ask for recanvass of votes

The Jefferson County Clerk's Office said candidates can file for a recanvass if the margin of total votes between two candidates is less than 1%.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky GOP candidate running to replace retiring U.S. Rep John Yarmuth said she plans to ask for state election officials to recanvass her race after losing by just 58 votes. 

Rhonda Palazzo, who is running for Kentucky's third congressional district, lost by less than one-tenth of a percent. 

"I am so very appreciative of every single voter who took the time to vote in Kentucky's Republican Primary election," Palazzo said in a statement. "I owe it to every voter of Kentucky's third United States congressional district to make sure that every single vote has been accounted for accurately."

Erran Huber, a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Clerk's Office, said that candidates may file a written request for a recanvass if the difference of total votes between two candidates is less than 1%.

According to the most recent preliminary election results, Stuart Ray won the GOP nomination with 9,703 votes.

Palazzo got 9,645 votes.

Ray declared victory Wednesday morning, saying he has enough votes for the nominee.

"With all the votes counted, the people spoke and elected me to represent them and their ideals in the November General Election," he said in a release.

In an interview with WHAS Wednesday afternoon, Ray said he understands Palazzo's position.

“There were six other really good candidates, so it wasn't surprising to us that it was a very close race,” he said. “I understand, it was a very close margin, so we, or probably many other candidates, would be doing the same thing.”

Still, Ray said he's looking to November.

"There's a lot of work to be done, so guess what? We're moving forward,” he said. "We could be a lower cost structure for business and economic development opportunities. We have to shore up our safety issues. We have to support our police and make sure that we're a safe community for the entire city."

Morgan McGarvey, the democratic third congressional candidate, said he's laser-focused as well. 

Wednesday, he and Gov. Andy Beshear spoke at a coffee shop in downtown Louisville.

"We are going to make sure Kentucky has a democratic voice in Washington,” McGarvey said. “Listening to people, going around making sure that we are solving problems and talking about issues that people care about. That's what we're going to do regardless of who the opponent is."

Beshear posed questions he said McGarvey would address on the campaign trail.

"Is your job enough to provide for your family? Can you see a doctor when you're sick,” he asked. “Is your child getting the kind of education that will get them ahead?"

Both McGarvey and Ray said they hope to receive the support of their competitors in the future.

“I know many of the other candidates and I like and admire them and I think we all, if we haven’t articulated it, I think we all feel passionately about supporting the primary winner and the candidate in the Republican party,” Ray said.

Beshear said bringing people together sometimes takes time, but none of the candidates would have put themselves out there if they didn't want the best for the district.

Huber said provisional ballots are still being counted and their office expects to have a more solid understanding of the final results when they're certified Friday.

Michon Lindstrom, communications director for Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, clarified a recanvass is rechecking the vote totals in the election and does not cost money.

She said the recanvass will be done Thursday, May 26 and the election will be certified on June 3.

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