About four dozen reporters and a battalion of camera crews waited breathlessly outside the Cannon House Caucus Room this afternoon for word of who would emerge victorious in the race to be the new House Republican Leader, replacing former leader Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas.
Ballots were being counted and word was expected any moment when a top Republican aide slipped out of the room to quietly inform reporters that, upon counting the ballots, they found there were more cast than there were actually members in the room.
Perhaps Congress has a ways further to go on ethical reform.
We'll stay on the story and be sure to let you know how things are finally resolved and what, if any, explanation is offered for the extra ballots.
House Republican officials now say there was one extra ballot cast - by the Republican delegate from Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico does not have a vote on the House floor, so they are not used to the delegate voting. After some discussion it was determined that under conference rules, his vote should be allowed. However, because none of the three candidates received the necessary 117 votes to win the postion outright, a runoff race with the two top ballot getters is being held. At this time, the conference is still in the process of re-voting.
In the runoff ballot, underdog John Boehner of Ohio upset Roy Blunt of Missouri in the race to be House Majority Leader. The vote was 122-109.