NEW YORK (AP) _ After weeks of ballot counting, a lawyer for Republican Attorney General Dennis Vacco has acknowledged that the incumbent cannot overcome the lead of his Democratic challenger.

Thomas Spargo said he has not identified enough irregularities to overtake Eliot Spitzer.

The latest tally shows Spitzer with a 21,415-vote lead out of more than 4 million ballots cast Nov. 3.

``It's not my anticipation that there's going to be some spike in the ballots on behalf of either candidate,'' Spargo said Monday.

Spargo said he would continue looking while the elections board tabulates the uncounted ballots, which were challenged for various reasons and set aside.

Vacco has yet to concede defeat.

At a hearing Monday in state court in Manhattan, Justice Thomas Keegan said that unless enough voting irregularities were demonstrated by Republicans to show that Spitzer could have lost, ``there's not going to be another election.''

Spargo had initially claimed that some votes were cast in the name of people who had died. Spitzer's camp said Vacco should admit defeat.

``It's time for Dennis Vacco and the Republican Party to take off the earmuffs and hear the stout lady singing _ because she is singing,'' Spitzer attorney Martin Connor said.