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Cook Opts For No Recount

November 03, 2004
By: Katheryn Mohr
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY- Former Secretary of State Bekki Cook decided not to demand a voter recount after losing the lieutenant governor's race to Sen. Peter Kinder, R-Cape Giradeau, by a whisker thin margin.

"At the moment Bekki is not thinking about a recount unless some unlikely scenario comes up affecting how the votes stand now," said Norm Sterzenbach, Cook's campaign manager.

According to the secretary of state's office, of the 2,648,250 votes cast Kinder won by only 16,255 votes resulting in a marginal win of about 0.6 percent.

Cook made a phone call a little before 8 a.m. this morning in which she conceded to Kinder.

The lieutenant governor's race was Missouri's closest statewide race this year, according to the secretary of state's office.

Terri Durdaller, communications director for the secretary of state's office, said since Kinder won the race by less than a 1 percent margin there was still the possibility Cook could either contest the race or demand a recount without having to obtain a court order.

But if a candidate loses by 1 percent or more they have to get a court order to receive a recount, Durdaller said.

"Since there are no automatic recounts in Missouri the only way a recount can be triggered is by the candidate," Durdaller said.

Durdaller said Cook has seven days after the election is certified to request a recount, but the certification won't take place for at least another month.

Cook led Kinder in the polls throughout the week leading up to election day, but the race remained deadlocked after the polls closed on Tuesday night.

Kinder said it was his last minute T.V. ads that helped him clench the win.

Unlike Cook who chose to run T.V. ads throughout the last month of the campaign, Kinder opted for another strategic route.

Kinder didn't begin any radio or T.V. ads until the last 11 days of the campaign.

"We made a bet that these down ballot races are decided in the last 10 days," Kinder said.

"I was like a retail store that had just spent 15 months preparing to open but had just begun opening my doors."

Sterzenbach agreed Kinder's last week of advertising had a major impact on the outcome of the election.

Kinder said he was very tired after an intense election night but he couldn't be more delighted with the outcome.

"I feel very humble and grateful that the people of Missouri have given me this chance," Kinder said.

"And I am determined to make the best of it."