No recount in Young-Parnell primary race

Lieutenant governor says he trusts the Division of Elections, concedes to Young

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2008

Saying he would not seek a recount, Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell on Thursday conceded the tight Republican House primary race to incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Young.

After outstanding absentee and questioned ballots were counted Wednesday, Parnell trailed Young by 304 votes.

Parnell said he had a high degree of confidence in the work of the Division of Elections, an agency he oversees as the state's lieutenant governor.

"While a recount could change the outcome of this exceedingly close election - normal human error being what it is - such a result is unlikely. As such, I do not believe it justifies an expenditure of taxpayer funds," Parnell said in a statement.

Since the margin between the two was so close, the state would have paid for a recount.

Another factor was Gov. Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate.

Parnell said he has found himself stepping in more for Gov. Sarah Palin for official state duties after she joined the campaign trail.

The primary was held Aug. 26, and Parnell had trailed Young by a few hundred votes, despite Palin's support and the legal cloud over Young.

Young is under investigation for ties to oil field services company VECO Corp., and has spent more than $1 million from his campaign war chest on legal fees.

Parnell conceded in a statement e-mailed to reporters and confirmed by campaign spokeswoman Cathy Giessel.

Young will face Ethan Berkowitz, the former state House Minority Leader, in the general election.

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