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Monday November 27, 2000

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Bush declared winner in Florida, again

By Shana Heiser

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Republicans relieved Florida certifies Bush as winner, Democrats vow courts will overrule

The UA College Republicans want the election to end with their candidate's Florida certification, but the Young Democrats vow their candidate will still prevail.

Both University of Arizona clubs are convinced the White House will be ruled by their party, but only one president can take office in January.

Yesterday, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified her state's election and announced Texas Governor George W. Bush the winner by 537 votes.

However, lawyers for both Bush and Vice President Al Gore will take legal action this morning, and the Supreme Court will not hear arguments until Friday.

Manuel Espinoza, College Republicans president, said Gore has lost the recount four times, and prolonging the election in court will not change anything.

"I don't know how many more times Gore wants to lose this election," Espinoza said.

Ted Cox, Young Democrat event coordinator, said he does not think Gore plans to give up and thinks the vice president will do what he can to get other votes certified.

"I wouldn't say this is going to stand," Cox said. "It's premature, and this isn't over for anyone just yet."

The Gore campaign's probable challenge of the certification disappoints Espinoza because, he said, he remembers when they agreed to refrain from contesting the vote if certain conditions were met.

"Gore and Lieberman said if the courts allowed a manual recount, they would not contest it," Espinoza said. "This is just showing me that Clinton and Gore will do anything to win, and Senator (Joe) Lieberman is the same way."

Cox said Gore's legal action will make a difference because Bush has only been ahead by a small margin in Florida.

"Every time they've done the recounts, Gore has gained," Cox said. "It's not like he's finding votes somewhere; it's that the votes are being more accurately counted."

Because the popular vote and the Florida vote are split almost evenly, Espinoza said the nation is divided and needs to unite.

"The man I want up there in the White House, who can do the best job uniting the country, is Bush," Espinoza said. "It's going to be a great task to see if he can do it."

The Supreme Court's decision will supersede Harris' certification, Cox said.

"I believe it will be a different outcome (after the court's rule)," he said.

Nationwide polls have shown that "an overwhelming majority of the people think Bush won," Espinoza said.

"George W. Bush is the president elect right now, and it's over," Espinoza said.

But, Cox thinks the opposite.

"No one has conceded the election," Cox said.