A difference of only 51 votes forces recount for runner-up in 2nd Congressional District race

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. -- San Juan County officials said Friday that they will have to recount ballots from the Aug. 7 primary to see who will face Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., in the November election.

Larsen won the primary with nearly 65% of the vote.

Under Washington's Top Two election system, the next highest vote-getter advances to the November general election.

In the primary, Libertarian candidate Brian Luke finished with 12,320 votes, while Independent candidate Gary Franco got 12,269

"The difference between the two candidates is 51 votes, 0.207 percent, causing the recount to be conducted manually," San Juan County said on its website.

The county canvass board has scheduled the recount to begin Tuesday and it is expected to be completed that day.

Washington's 2nd Congressional District includes all of Island and San Juan counties, and neighboring areas on the mainland, from Bellingham in the north to Lynnwood in the south.

Larsen has represented the district since 2001.