4 can­di­dates not yet con­ced­ing in close House races

Houston Chronicle - - CITY | STATE - By Al­lie Mor­ris amor­ris@ex­press-news.net

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.”





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