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Congressional Runner-Up Seeks Recount After 40-Vote Margin

Tom Guild

A retired university professor who trailed his opponent by just 40 votes after Tuesday's Democratic runoff election for an Oklahoma congressional seat filed paperwork on Friday seeking a manual recount in the race.

Democrat Tom Guild filed a petition for recount in his race against former state Sen. Al McAffrey, who led by 40 votes out of more than 16,000 cast.

Guild paid $2,700 for a manual recount of the ballots in Oklahoma Seminole counties, where most of the votes were cast. He says he sought the recount at the urging of his supporters, who helped raise about $2,800 since Tuesday to pay for the effort.

"I don't have any reason to have confidence or lack confidence in the system," Guild said. "I just don't know, but I do know that my supporters wanted me to do this, and they supported it financially."

Guild, who already personally loaned his campaign nearly $24,000, said he didn't have the additional $600 needed to pay for a recount in Pottawatomie County, where he defeated McAffrey with 58 percent of the 917 votes cast.

Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said the manual recount will begin next week.

McAffrey said he already is preparing for the general election against first-term GOP U.S. Rep. Steve Russell and that he is confident his victory will be upheld.

"With our equipment today and the machines they use today, the odds of them fouling up is almost zero," McAffrey said. "But I think Tom should do it if it makes him feel better."

The runoff was a rematch of the 2014 Democratic runoff election in which McAffrey defeated Guild by more than 1,600 votes. McAffrey then lost in the general election to Russell, who received 60 percent of the vote.

The last six manual recounts conducted since 2014 never resulted in more than a two-vote difference, according to figures from the Oklahoma Election Board.

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