State House News Service


Acting Secretary of State: Superior Court Candidates Waive Right to Recount


HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three candidates for Superior Court have asked that no statewide recount be carried out in the close race, Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres announced today.

In the contest for four open seats on the Superior Court, unofficial results from all 67 counties indicated that three candidates – Emil Giordano, H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., and Craig Stedman – were within a one-half percent margin of the fourth-place finisher, Mary Murray.

Under state law, a mandatory recount is triggered in any statewide race or ballot question if the margin of victory is less than one-half of one percent of the total number of votes cast for that office or ballot question.

Giordano, Moulton and Stedman each have filed a waiver of their right to the recount.

"This was a noteworthy and responsible decision on the part of those three candidates," Torres said. "Historically, such recounts do not change the outcome of the initial results, while the cost to taxpayers is significant. I thank the candidates for placing the people's interest above their own."

The Department of State estimated the recount could have cost more than $500,000.

As of today, the unofficial returns submitted by the 67 counties show the following results:

  • Maria McLaughlin (D) – 1,074,736 (14.087%)
  • Deborah Anne Kunselman (D) – 1,038,367 (13.610%)
  • Carolyn H. Nichols (D) – 975,049 (12.780%)
  • Mary P. Murray (R) – 916,332 (12.011%)
  • Craig Stedman (R) – 911,862 (11.952%)
  • H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. (D) – 889,227 (11.655%)
  • Emil Giordano (R) – 883,632 (11.582%)
  • Wade Alan Kagarise (R) – 833,518 (10.925%)
  • Jules Mermelstein (Green) – 106,614 (1.397%)

Since the automatic recount provision was enacted under Act 97 of 2004, the provision has been triggered three times, with two recounts carried out.

The first recount was conducted in the Superior Court race in November 2009. In May 2011, a recount was ordered in the Democratic primary contest for a seat on the Commonwealth Court. In each of those cases, the second count affirmed the results as initially tallied.

A recount was averted in the 2010 Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor race when the trailing candidate waived his right to have votes counted again.

Unofficial returns for all statewide and judicial races in the November 7 municipal election can be found at

MEDIA CONTACT:   Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of State

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