SEATTLE – The state's Republicans, still pressing their court challenge to the disputed governor's election, have filed a separate challenge with the state Legislature.
"We did this to cover all our bases," said Mary Lane, a spokeswoman for Dino Rossi (search), the Republican who narrowly won the original vote count and a mandatory recount. In a hand recount, he lost to Democrat Christine Gregoire (search) by 129 votes out of 2.9 million cast.
Gregoire was sworn into office Jan. 12.
Republicans have filed a legal challenge against the hand recount in Chelan County Superior Court, saying mistakes were made and calling for another statewide vote. That same challenge was filed with the Legislature Friday evening, "as an insurance policy," Lane said Saturday.
The challenge, however, goes to the Democrat-controlled Legislature, which certified the election Jan. 11 despite a GOP request for a two-week delay.
State Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said the move indicated Republicans are afraid they won't win in court.
"The Republicans are in a hopeless situation," Brost said. "What we have seen in the last couple weeks is them floundering and grasping at straws trying to find some way to undo the election results."
The next court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4, when several counties and Democrats present motions to dismiss the case.