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Jim Brochin to call for recount after 9-vote loss in primary for Baltimore County executive

State Sen. Jim Brochin said he plans to ask for a recount after losing the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County executive by just nine votes.

Former Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr. was declared the winner Friday night after all absentee and provisional ballots were counted.

“We are going to ask for a recount, as is available under law,” Brochin said Saturday morning. “The question is: What kind of recount?”

Brochin said his campaign team was researching their options for what type of recount to request. He expects to learn more on the law from elections officials on Monday.

With a mere nine-vote difference out of nearly 85,000 cast, Brochin said it’s important to check the accuracy of the count — though he praised Maryland elections officials for their efforts.

Brochin noted how, at one point, there was a three-vote discrepancy between the number of physical absentee ballots and the number of votes that showed on the scanner — leading elections judges to re-scan that entire round of absentee ballots.

Issues like that could quickly add up to nine votes, he said.

“We owe it to the people who supported my campaign ... to make sure we are certain,” Brochin said.

Given that the margin between Olszewski and Brochin is less than 0.1 percent, a candidate petitioning for a recount would not pay the cost, according to the state’s election laws.

Maryland does not have automatic recounts.

The winner will face Republican Al Redmer Jr., the state insurance commissioner and ally of Gov. Larry Hogan, in November’s general election. Redmer easily defeated state Del. Pat McDonough in the GOP primary.

Finishing third in the Democratic primary was County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, and Kevin Marron finished a distant fourth.

The next county executive will succeed Don Mohler, who was appointed to the job in May following the death of Kevin Kamenetz.

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