McDowell campaign calling for every vote to be counted

As most campaigns are winding down, the McDowell campaign is not done yet.

The race between Gary McDowell and Dan Benishek for a seat in Congress was extremely close, currently separated by only .6 percent of the vote. While the Associated Press has called Benishek the winner, the McDowell campaign says they are calling for every vote to be counted and certified at a board of canvassers meeting today and tomorrow.

"This is a very close race and we owe it to all the voters of Northern Michigan to ensure that every vote is counted," said Zach Knowling, campaign manager for McDowell for Congress.

Knowling says the county boards of canvassers are meeting to review the results of the election and certify the vote.

"We will let that process continue so that every vote is counted," Knowling said.

The Benishek campaign, however, says that Gary McDowell conceded the race in an article in the Escanaba Daily Press, which says: "McDowell praised Benishek for winning the contest." (...) "It was a great race. Congratulations to Dan Benishek. Hope he does well,' McDowell said this morning just a few minutes after hearing the final outcome. He also thanked everyone involved in his campaign for their support."

A spokesman for the Benishek campaign said Dr. Dan Benishek is "proud that the people of Northern Michigan re-elected him to be their voice in Congress. It was great to see Gary McDowell congratulate Dr. Dan yesterday morning for his win and the doctor looks forward to continuing his work spurring job creation in Northern Michigan.â??

The McDowell campaign says the comment in the article was an "initial reaction" and not a concession. He says he will "let the canvassers do their work" and if a concession is necessary, a call will be made directly to Congressman Benishek.

The McDowell campaign expects that most boards of canvassers will complete their work by the end of the week.