Two of the closest races in Tuesday’s Texas Republican primary may not be over yet, as one candidate is requesting a recount and two others remain uncertain which one of them made an expected runoff.
After losing her reelection bid to Hugh Shine by 118 votes, state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, announced she is requesting a recount.
In an email to supporters soliciting input Wednesday afternoon, White said that she is “still reeling in disbelief over the outcome of this election,” but she believes that an expected $1,800 price tag for a recount would be worth the cost. Later that day she posted to Facebook to announce that she would be moving forward with the recount request.
“We are at peace regardless of the results,” White wrote. “Ensuring fairness and accuracy with this election is essential for our community.”
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In the Senate District 1 race to replace retiring state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, state Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, fell short of the 50 percent threshold required to avoid a runoff. His current runoff opponent is expected to be fellow state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, who led a third candidate, James “Red” Brown, by a mere 13 votes.
Brown and Simpson spoke on Wednesday about a potential recount, according to officials on both campaigns. Both agreed that if they go down that path, they will do it together with Brown footing the bill. But the Brown campaign thinks Simpson's 13-vote lead may not stand ahead of next week's canvassing of the vote, a process in which the race's results are made official.
Brown’s consultant Todd Olsen said there are more than 630 provisional or military ballots across the district which have not yet been counted. The campaign has heard from several voters since election day asking about how they complete the process to have their provisional ballot counted, according to Olsen.
Brown sent an email to supporters on Thursday informing them about the high number of provisional and military ballots.
"If one of these is yours, your vote won't count unless you take action by March 7th," Brown wrote, explaining that provisional voters must take their completed paperwork to the county clerk's office by close of business on Monday.
Election administrators in Smith and Gregg Counties — the two largest counties in the district — said that they have 410 and 128 provisional ballots respectively. Military ballots are still incoming due to a grace period following the election.