Travis County has had serious issues tabulating results and this West Austin house district is nowhere near decided.
But as it stands at the time of this writing, Jennifer Fleck has finished first with 32 percent of the votes cast in the race to face freshman incumbent Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin). In a virtual tie for second, former Austin City Councilman Don Zimmerman is ahead of Justin Berry by just one vote.
Aaron Reitz, meanwhile, is currently in fourth at 15.5 percent and Jenny Roan Forgey in last at under 7 percent.
The race will assuredly go to a runoff and Fleck has essentially secured her spot in it.
Fleck told The Texan, “Thank you to everyone who supported me. It looks like knocking 5,500 doors paid off. I look forward to the runoff. I know I can win. I’m excited to bring conservative leadership to the Texas House.”
The question is, who will join her? Berry and Zimmerman are jockeying for position — a recount and contestation of provisional ballots will likely decide this second-place finish.
Zimmerman told The Texan he expects a recount, and added, “We are very grateful for the financial contributions and hard work of the entire Texans for Zimmerman team, and express gratitude for the voters who pushed us into the slimmest of leads — and once again proved that ‘every vote matters.’ I consider it visible proof of the work of the invisible ‘Hand of Providence’ when a race is so close.”
Justin Berry told The Texan, “We have had a tremendous surge in the final hours of counting. It is likely the ballots remaining to be counted will be similar to other late-arriving ballots. I am currently behind by just one vote now, but I expect to go ahead by a small margin by the time counting is 100% complete. The only thing we know for sure is that the number will change when the rest of the ballots come in. I think it is most likely to change in my favor. Either way, with such a small margin, I would expect there to be a recount of the ballots to make 100% sure of the results.”
He concluded, “We are extremely encouraged by the outpouring of support from local voters, especially from first responders and veterans. Now, all we can do is wait at least 9 days before any official results are available. I believe we are in the Runoff, but even before we have won this election, we have proven the old adage: Every Vote Counts!”
A report by KVUE found that about 40 election workers were no-shows on Election Day — 30 of which cited coronavirus fears. Other contributions to the delays at Travis County polling locations were “human error” and long lines.
Turnout for this race, right now, sits between the 2016 and 2018 levels.
It is unclear when the outcome of the race will be decided, but a recount is all-but-assured.
See where the prospective runoff candidates fall on policy priorities here.
This story will be updated as new developments come in.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.