Sen. Alan Bates leads challenger Dave Dotterrer by 275 votes in the final election results certified by the Jackson County Elections Center Friday.

Sen. Alan Bates leads challenger Dave Dotterrer by 275 votes in the final election results certified by the Jackson County Elections Center Friday.

Dotterrer, an Ashland Republican, still will not say that incumbent Bates, a Medford Democrat, is the victor.

"If you're asking whether I'm going to concede, the answer is no," he said.

He said he wanted to wait until the Oregon Secretary of State's Office certifies the election on Dec. 2.

Dotterrer didn't rule out the possibility of asking for a recount, which can be requested between the date of state certification and the deadline on Dec. 7.

An automatic recount is generated if the difference in votes between the two candidates amounts to one-fifth of 1 percent of their total vote, or in this case 97 votes.

If Dotterrer requests a recount, he would have to pay the expenses of the Elections Center.

In early returns, Dotterrer led Bates by 1,200 votes, a lead that evaporated as more ballots were processed.

Since Bates took the lead, subsequent ballot counts have given him a 250-plus-vote advantage.

Senate Democratic leaders expressed confidence in Bates as the winner by naming him deputy majority leader a week ago.

Bates said he won't claim victory until his opponent concedes or the election results are certified by the Secretary of State.

"From my position, we will have to wait," he said. "This is new ground for me. I have never had anyone not concede at this point."

Bates said he hasn't stopped working as the senator for District 3, which covers much of Medford, Ashland, Talent, Phoenix and Jacksonville.

"I'm doing everything I can for the constituents of this district — both for those who voted for him and those who voted for me," he said. "What people should take away from this is that every vote counts."

Damian Mann is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach him at 541-776-4476, or e-mail dmann@mailtribune.com.