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Holden readies for transition

November 29, 2000
By: John Sheridan
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - While George W. Bush can't get the keys to his transition office, Missouri's next governor isn't facing that problem.

Even though the secretary of state has yet to officially certify the results of the election, Bob Holden's transition team already has moved into the transition office provided by the state.

Transition spokesman Dan Barber said official certification is just a formality.

"I've heard no concern whatsoever from anyone involved in the transition process. We're just aggressively moving ahead with the transition to the governor's office," Barber said.

He said the Holden campaign is already interviewing potential candidates for the dozens of positions that need to be filled, and will announce major staff hirings at a press conference next Tuesday.

By Missouri law, official certification must be complete by Dec. 5. If the margin of Holden's victory is still within one percent after certification, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Talent can request a recount.

The latest official election results from the secretary of state's office show Holden leads Talent by about 21,000 votes -- only a .9 percent margin of victory.

Talent, however, said almost immediately after the election he would not seek a recount.

Office of Administration Commissioner Dick Hanson, whose office is in charge of transition funds, said money was made available on Nov. 15 for candidates who won the statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and treasurer.

Hanson said he is not concerned about the possibility that a recount could overturn election results, which would mean Holden is now spending money that would go to Talent.

"Nobody has suggested this could be a problem," Hanson said. He added much of the transition money is used for office space and equipment that could be used by anyone, not just one specific candidate.

Talent advisor Rich Chrismer said he is not concerned that Holden is already spending the funds, saying he hopes the transition is successful.

The actual amount of transition funds varies. The governor-elect receives $100,000, lieutenant governor-elect gets $5,000 while the secretary of state and treasurer get $10,000 each.