by Amy Worden
Inquirer Staff Writer
A statewide ballot recount conducted for the hotly contested spot on the Pennsylvania Superior Court confirms that Democrat Anne E. Lazarus of Philadelphia won the fourth open seat in the Nov. 3 election.
That's according to results announced today by Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés.
Unofficial returns previously reported by the 67 counties indicated Lazarus had won, but three other candidates trailed her by less than one-half of 1 percent of the total number of votes cast for the office. Cortes ordered the recount - the first in state history - after one of three runners-up in the race for the last seat - Pittsburgh lawyer Temp Smith - did not waive his right to the recount.
The other two trailing candidates, Judge Robert Colville and Prosecutor Kevin Francis McCarthy, both Allegheny County Democrats, waived their right to a recount.
“I thank the counties and their election boards for working diligently to complete the recount on a timely basis,” Cortés said. “I am encouraged that the state’s first recount confirmed the election was conducted in a fair and accurate manner.”
Costs for the recount will not be known until all counties submit their bills, the Department of State said, but some estimates put the total to taxpayers at more than $1.3 million.
Nine candidates sought the four open seats on the Superior Court on Nov. 3. Judy Olson, Sallie Mundy, Paula Ott and Anne E. Lazarus received the four highest vote totals. Lazarus is a judge on the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia.
Minor differences between the totals reported in the recount and those reported in the unofficial returns are attributed to absentee ballots, military overseas ballots and provisional ballots, the agency said.
Here are the official numbers:
Judy Olson 954,065
Sallie Mundy 870,091
Paula Ott 807,327
Anne E. Lazarus 726,917
Robert J. Colville 724,830
Temp Smith 723,117
Kevin Francis McCarthy 714,237
Teresa Sarmina 690,682
Marakay Rogers 127,492
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