OLYMPIA - Last week's mandatory recount of ballots ended with former State Sen. Dino Rossi, the Republican, 42 votes ahead in Washington's historically close governor's race.

Friday, state Democrats are expected to ask for a hand recount of all or part of the ballots, leaving the outcome of the race up in the air, perhaps until late December.

Gov. Gary Locke released the following statement regarding the governor's race:

"This incredibly close governor's race is a first for the state of

Washington. This race provides a clear example why every person should vote, because your ballot might make the difference.

"I am confident that through this state mandated recount, we will be assured that every legitimate vote was counted.

"Last week, in preparation for the eventual transition, my office made available to both campaigns, current basic office organization and budget information. This is useful information for the candidates as they formulate their transition plans.

"This is a small portion of a significant transition package that will

ultimately be made available to the governor-elect. I am committed to making this transition between administrations the best that Washington has seen. It's an important time for our state and I will do whatever I can to help."

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