Donna Howard Keeps House Seat With 16-Vote Victory

State Rep. Donna Howard,  D-Austin,  and her GOP challenger, Dan Neil.
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, and her GOP challenger, Dan Neil.

It appears state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, will keep her seat in the Texas House after all. After overseas ballots were counted Monday, the final vote tally gave Howard a 16-vote victory over Republican challenger Dan Neil, according to Tribune news partner KXAN-TV. Howard had been clinging to a slim victory after winning election day balloting by 15 votes. 

Travis County officials consider tonight's count the final tally, but a recount is likely. If Howard keeps her seat, the House balance of power next session will stand at 99 Republicans, 51 Democrats, just one Republican member shy of a supermajority.

"I was prepared for whatever the voters decided here, and I'm extremely grateful for the outcome that will allow me to continue working for the people of the district," Howard told KXAN. Neill has until Wednesday, when the Travis County Commissioners Court canvasses the vote, to decide whether he wants to call for a recount. The final vote count: Howard: 25,026 Neil: 25,010

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