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Neil Concedes to Howard in House Race

Dan Neil conceded to Democrat Donna Howard of Austin in the House District 48 race Friday afternoon, just days after a House committee turned back his challenge to the November election results.

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Dan Neil conceded to Democrat Donna Howard of Austin in the House District 48 race Friday afternoon, just days after a House committee turned back his challenge to the November election results.

The Republican challenger lost the election by 16 votes. A recount lowered the margin to 12 votes, and he took his challenge to the House. Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas, was chosen to oversee the challenge and found, after poring through records and interviewing voters, that Howard won by four votes. That finding went to a committee on Tuesday, and the panel voted to stick with Hartnett's conclusion.

Neil has the right to take the matter to the full House but decided this afternoon not to do so. He issued a short statement:

With the select committee’s ruling that we did not meet the burden of proof to overturn the election results in HD-48, I have decided the best course of action is to withdraw my election contest. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all my supporters who worked hard on a campaign that was ultimately decided by the narrowest of margins. Their prayers and support have made this entire experience worthwhile even if the end result is not what we sought. I would also like to thank Master Hartnett and the Committee for their hard work on this issue. And I want to wish Donna Howard well as she continues to represent District 48, which is a special place to live, work and raise a family.

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