Dan Neil, the Republican in the race for House District 48, has filed a challenge against Democrat State House member Donna Howard. Howard won re-election by 16 votes on Election Day. That number was trimmed to 12 during an official re-count. Now, Neil says a number of factors have lead him to file the challenge. "With all the mistakes made by Travis County election officials that we have seen and discovered, we believe that a contest must be filed for every legal vote to be counted. I believe that when all of the legally cast ballots are counted that I will be the new representative for House District 48."
He accuses Travis County of losing two votes between the election and the recount.
Donna Howard released a statement just minutes after Neil announced his challenge.
"Dan Neil’s decision today to file an election challenge in House District 48 speaks more about his political ambition than the accuracy of the final vote count. There is no doubt this was an incredibly close race, but the Travis County Clerk’s office ran a clean election and a recount that included observers from both sides who confirmed the result. There is no question about the final outcome in the race for HD 48, and it is time to accept the majority vote."
According to the Secretary of State's office, the challenge goes to that office first, where all of the information available is compiled and sent to the Texas House. The House will then task one member with presiding over several hearings as Howard and Neil lay out their cases.