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Recount widens Koster's margin over Donnelly

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 11, 2008 - A recount of Missouri primary votes has upheld state Sen. Chris Koster's victory over Rep. Margaret Donnelly as the Democratic nominee for attorney general, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced today.

Koster of Harrisonville defeated Donnelly of Richmond Heights by 829 votes, according to the recount. That was a gain of 49 votes from the original count. Donnelly filed for the recount after finishing 780 votes behind Koster,  a margin of 0.2 percent. Missouri law allows losing candidates to request recounts in elections where the winning margin is less than 1 percent.

The final results of the recount are:

  • Koster: 118,934
  • Donnelly: 118,105
  • Rep. Jeff Harris: 86,550
  • Molly Williams: 23,140

Koster has been busy on the campaign trail while awaiting the results of the recount. In the November general election, Koster will face state Sen. Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood, the Republican nominee for attorney general, who ran unopposed in the primary. Koster and Gibbons faced off in a candidates forum Thursday afternoon at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Koster is a former Republican who switched to the Democratic Party last year, citing philosophical differences over such issues as stem cell research and workers' rights.

Carnahan also certified recounts from two state Senate races.

In District 5, state Rep. Robin Wright-Jones' victory over state Rep. Rodney Hubbard was confirmed. The difference between the candidates' vote totals was 96 votes; it was 101 votes before the recount.

In District 15, the victory of James Trout was confirmed over Steve Eagleton. The final vote difference was 37, a gain of 1 vote after the recount. 

Mary Delach Leonard is a veteran journalist who joined the St. Louis Beacon staff in April 2008 after a 17-year career at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she was a reporter and an editor in the features section. Her work has been cited for awards by the Missouri Associated Press Managing Editors, the Missouri Press Association and the Illinois Press Association. In 2010, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis honored her with a Spirit of Justice Award in recognition of her work on the housing crisis. Leonard began her newspaper career at the Belleville News-Democrat after earning a degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where she now serves as an adjunct faculty member. She is partial to pomeranians and Cardinals.

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