In House District (HD) 17, third-place finisher Tom Glass requested a recount on March 11 — results showing him behind 424 votes for the second runoff spot. He raised money from over 100 donors to finance the paper ballot recount which cost $5,600.
Glass didn’t allege anything underhanded occurred, but said, “My understanding is that if I did not take this step, the opportunity for the people of Texas to see results of a manual paper recount in this cycle might not have happened, and that was another motivator for pushing for the recount.”
Announcing the results of the recount, specifically that results in three of the four counties changed slightly, Glass said, “The most significant benefit from the recount was that we have uncovered the need for either better instructions on the reconciliation reports or better training for election administrators, or both.”
Glass said that there was a double count in Caldwell County of between 60 and 80 votes. It also revealed a few other minor miscounts and discrepancies between the electronic and paper counts.
“I think you should be happy that you did because a significant learning and lots of experience and organizational strengthening was gained by Texas Republicans in election integrity,” he concluded.
Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape will now officially face Stan Gerdes in the HD 17 runoff. HD 17 — comprised of Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Lee, and Milam Counties after redistricting — is open due to Rep. John Cyrier’s (R-Lockhart) retirement.
The other recount occurred in HD 64 where incumbent Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Denton) edged out challenger Andy Hopper by just 88 votes on Election Day. Hopper requested a recount on March 14 — down 2,621 votes in Denton County and up 2,533 in Wise County.
Hopper’s recount was just for Denton County.
“With an election this close, I feel as if we owe it to everyone to make sure the votes were counted properly, and this manual recount will help ensure that,” he said at the time.
According to the Denton County GOP, the recount slightly increased Stucky’s lead by six votes, putting the final margin at 94 votes.
The result is now official that Stucky staved off his primary challenge and moves to the general election Republican-favored district — all but securing his re-election to the Texas House.
HD 64 was expanded during redistricting to include Wise County, Hopper’s home county, where before it was solely contained within Denton County.
Under Texas statute, recounts can only be requested if the difference between the two candidates is less than 10 percent of the frontrunner in the election. But in neither district did the recounts substantially change the tallies from election night.
The runoff elections are scheduled for May 24.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and 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 quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.