Rocky Holcomb, one of many Virginia Republicans to go down in defeat in elections earlier this week, is demanding a recount for his race on the grounds that he was unfairly tarred as a racist.
The Virginian Pilot reports that Holcomb, who lost to Democrat Cheryl Turpin by just under 400 votes on Tuesday in the race to represent Virginia Beach’s 85th House District, has been pushing a long-shot recall effort because he's still angry about a campaign flyer sent out to black constituents that accused him of racism.
"The front of the flyer crosses out Holcomb’s first name and calls him 'Racist Holcomb,'" explains the Virginian Pilot. "On the back, Turpin’s campaign shows 'Rocky’s Racist Ad,' in which it claims he edited a stock photo so a hand over a child’s mouth appeared darker. It also details 'Rocky’s Hate Group,' highlighting a photo Holcomb took with Scott Presler, a strategist with ACT for America, which was identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center."
Holcomb's campaign says that Presler only showed up to one of the candidate's campaign events and did not donate any money to it.
Although Holcomb is vowing to fight on, the Virginian Pilot notes that his chances of succeeding in overturning the result of the election are remote.
"Holcomb is hoping that provisional ballots will push him to within a 1 percentage point vote difference, which would allow him to request a recount under state law," the publication writes. "As of Thursday afternoon, the Virginia Beach registrar had 66 ballots cast in Holcomb’s district... even if all those ballots were in Holcomb’s favor, he wouldn’t hit the 1 percentage point threshold."