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Lee won’t seek recount

ATHOL — Susannah Whipps Lee, the Republican challenger in last week’s election who failed to unseat freshman incumbent Rep. Denise Andrews, D-Orange, by just 180 votes, says she won’t ask for a recount.

After talking to several town clerks in the Second Franklin District, said Lee, she learned there aren’t enough overseas or provisional ballots to affect the outcome of the three-way race. Lee, who chairs the Athol selectmen’s board, a recount would also place an economic burden on the towns without much chance of the results changing.

Andrews won the race 8,264-8,084, with independent candidate Richard F. Schober Jr. of Templeton capturing 1,906 votes.

Lee, a co-owner of her family’s manufacturing business, said she was re-focusing her attention on her work while “leaving all options open” about getting involved in politics again.

“I don’t have any plans for the future,” Lee said, who said she believes that she’ll remain in the selectman’s role.

But after a sometimes bitter contest that included being linked by Andrews to an anonymous and erroneous narcotics complaint, Lee — whose 44.3 percent of the vote represented the closest a Republican has come to recapturing the seat since 1978 — said she needs to take stock of what the experience means.

“I need time to let it sink in,” she said of the loss. “I need to decide whether I want to put myself through the same nonsense again in the future.”

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