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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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February 10, 2008 3:12 PM

State GOP to count more today

Posted by David Postman

State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said the party will start counting again this afternoon. But he said he has no reason to think the outcome will be any different when ever vote is counted.

“I am confident it will hold up,” he said of his call last night that John McCain had won the Washington caucus. “I don't blame anybody for strongly supporting their guy and Governor Huckabee is a great guy. If they're mad at me, I'm sorry. But I would have done the exact same thing if Governor Huckabee had the same lead, and the same number of votes were outstanding.”

Esser said he declared McCain the winner after calculating what Huckabee would have to win in the remaining precincts in order to take the lead. And even with being generous with a forecast of Huckabee votes, and purposefully assuming McCain's support dropped significantly in the late counts, McCain still looked like the winner.

“There's no certainty in this mortal coil. But I am confident these numbers will hold up.”

Esser said he talked today with Joe Fuiten, the Bothell pastor who heads Huckabee's volunteer effort in the state. Esser said that Fuiten told him about complaints from specific precincts about votes were handled. Esser said the party will investigate those claims.

Esser said he was not lobbied last night from either McCain's or Huckabee's campaigns about whether or not to to declare a winner.

“Maybe it would have been safer if I hadn't said anything. But it was an exciting and historic day for the state and I thought if I was confident about what the outcome would be I should share that with the people who had gone out to their caucuses.”

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