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Recount over with challenger Hans Zeiger poised to unseat Rep. Dawn Morrell

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Dec. 2, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
December 2, 2010 6:36 pm

There were no surprise boxes of ballots. No surprises to speak of at all, in fact.

Pierce County’s recount of a state legislative race is over. And while results won’t be released until just before they’re certified Friday, there is nothing to indicate a major shift in votes that would allow Rep. Dawn Morrell to overtake challenger Hans Zeiger.

Republicans observing the recount for Zeiger were getting ready to pop the bubbly, and Democrat Morrell said she doesn’t expect a major change in the results of the first count, which Zeiger led by 47 votes.

The recount turned up just seven more ballots than the original count. There are also roughly 11 questionable ballots that will go Friday before the county Canvassing Board, which decides whether to count them. One that is likely to be rejected: a write-in vote for “Dawn Zeiger.”

Morrell said she never expected enough votes to materialize in a recount to overturn the results. “In King County, it might be different,” she laughed.

If things go as she expects, she won’t be disappointed. “I’ve already respectfully moved on. I’m figuring out my life, and it’s going on from there. I did my public service and appreciated serving the 25th District,” she said.

In the future for Morrell: taking her grandchildren to Disneyland, returning to work as a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital, maybe going back to school to become a nurse practitioner — and some activism. “I’m going to be pretty loud about the inequities in the health care system,” she said.

Morrell, Pierce County’s highest-ranking member of the Legislature’s Democratic leadership, has focused on health care issues in Olympia, and she returned to those when putting her potential loss in perspective.

“It’s an election,” she said. “It’s not a cancer diagnosis. It’s not losing your spouse. It’s not a sick kid. So I don’t get too excited over it.”

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