4 candidates not yet conceding in close House races
AUSTIN — Four races for the Texas House are so close that candidates are waiting on a final vote count to see whether the election tips in their favor. Three are Democrats looking to unseat GOP representatives, and the fourth is a Katy Republican hoping to keep his post.
Counties have until Nov. 20 to tally accepted provisional, overseas and military ballots.
Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, was ahead of Democratic challenger Adam Milasincic by just 72 votes Friday, according to a preliminary tally on the secretary of state’s website.
Bohac has already claimed victory, thanking supporters on Facebook “for the privilege to continue to serve you in the Texas House.” But Milasincic said he is waiting until the count is over before he decides what to do.
“I was not expecting it would be this close; probably no candidate ever does,” Milasincic said. “Of course, we were disappointed on election night that we were still a few votes down, but on the flip side of that, we’re excited about the fact this is a district where no Democrat was even on the ballot in 2016.”
Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy, trails Democratic challenger Gina Calanni by fewer than 100 votes, according to preliminary results. He, too, isn’t conceding.
“Tuesday’s results are not yet final,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “The Harris County Clerk advises me that there are many votes yet to be counted — more absentee ballots and provisional ballots. We will continue to wait for a final vote count.”
A losing candidate can request a recount if they come within a certain margin of the leader. But they must pay a deposit — up to $100 per precinct. If a recount doesn’t tip the outcome, the candidate doesn’t recoup the money. Both Houston-area districts count more than 1,000 precincts, making any recount a potentially costly endeavor.
In Tuesday’s election, Democrats picked up at least a dozen seats in the House and narrowed the Republicans’ grip on the chamber, according to preliminary results. Republicans didn’t flip any seats in the House.
The other close House races are in the Dallas area and are separated by a few hundred votes. Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano, claimed victory, though Democratic challenger Sharon Hirsch isn’t conceding.
“We will continue to allow the process to move forward as provisional ballots and final mail-in ballots are counted so that every voice can be heard. I am waiting until this process concludes before making any final remarks,” she said in a statement on her campaign website.
Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, thanked supporters Wednesday for a win, though Democrat Joanna Cattanach said she’s waiting until the ballots are all counted.
“We have to be patient,” she said. “The mail takes as long as mail takes, the counting takes as long as it does take and there was a lot of people voting.”