State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) could find out this week if she will keep her seat or surrender it to her Republican challenger, sports radio host Dan Neil.
Howard won the November 2 election by a narrow 16 votes. Neil requested a recount. This morning, the Travis County Clerk emailed us this press release to let us know the recount has begun.
House District 48 Recount Underway
Austin – County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir announced that the recount involving House District 48 has begun. The recount was requested after final results showed the winning candidate leading the nearest challenger by 16 votes in the November 2, 2010 election.
Democratic candidate Donna Howard received 25,026 votes to Republican candidate Dan Neil’s 25,010 votes. Libertarian candidate Ben Easton received 1,518 votes.
County Judge Sam Biscoe, in his role as the Recount Committee Supervisor, appointed former County Judge Bill Aleshire to serve as Chair of the Recount Committee.
The recount is anticipated to last at least two days, with work being conducted from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. If needed, work can be extended if additional time is needed to complete the duties of the committee.
At the conclusion of the recount committee’s work, a report of vote totals will be prepared by the Chair of the Recount Committee and presented to the Recount Supervisor. Judge Biscoe then will provide the final report to the Texas Secretary of State, who serves as the Recount Coordinator.
Multiple poll watchers representing candidates and political parties are present.
The public may witness the proceedings from an adjacent room beyond a distance of 30 feet, as specified by state law.
The recount committee is comprised of registered Travis County voters from the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties.
The recount is taking place at the County Clerk’s Elections Division office located at 5501 Airport Boulevard.
A win for Neil would put Texas House Republicans one step closer to securing a 100 seat supermajority in the 150 seat lower chamber. As long as the GOP wins a special election in Seguin on December 14, a vote being held to fill the seat vacated when Republican Ed Kuempel died in November, they will get the 100 seats. Observers say smart money is on the Republicans in that mostly rural, conservative district.