SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Minden Physician and Businessman John Fleming got just 356 votes more than Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche during Saturday night's election to determine who will be the next representative for Louisiana's 4th Congressional District.
However, after all 640 precincts were counted, Carmouche said he planned to ask for a recount of the ballots.
In complete but unofficial results, Fleming received 44,497 votes (48.07%) and Carmouche received 41,141 vote (47.69%). Independent Candidate Chester T. Kelley got 3,245 votes (3.51%) and Independent Candidate Gerard Bowen, Jr. got 675 votes (.73%). These are complete but unofficial results from the Louisiana Secretary of State's office.
In all, there were 92,558 early and machine votes cast in the election. Provisional ballots had not been counted and are not a part of the total.
Carmouche cited the uncounted provisional ballots as one reason he would not concede the race once the results had been announced.
"For me to concede at this point would be foolish. We've spent a lot of money, a lot of effort, a lot of time in this race, and there are provisional ballots that we don't believe have been counted yet because they don't usually count those (immediately after a race). Democrats usually win those by large margins so the fat lady hasn't sung yet in this thing," he said.
Jacques Berry, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office, said the complete but unofficial returns do not include provisional ballots - paper ballots filled out by people who arrived at their precincts, intending to vote, but whose names did not appear on the official registry. Those votes and absentee paper ballots would be included on Tuesday, when all vote totals are added together again and certified.
Louisiana law has no provision for an automatic recount, Berry said, though a losing candidate can request one.
However Fleming sounded confident about his win after learning of Carmouche's intent to ask for a recount.
"The way this election works is that the person with the most votes wins and the people have spoken," he said.
Afterward he talked about his plan to focus on the economy when he gets to Washington. He says his background in both medicine and business gives him a unique perspective as a congressman.
"(We should) not allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. They need to stay in place. We also need to look into cutting taxes further to stimulate business," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story