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News A handful of battleground races in Texas remain unsettled days after Election...

A handful of battleground races in Texas remain unsettled days after Election Day

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By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune Nov. 9, 2020

A handful of battleground races in Texas remain unsettled days after Election Day” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

A few battleground races in Texas are still not fully settled as the current runner-up holds off on conceding, waiting to see more votes get counted.

Here are contests where the candidate with fewer votes has not admitted defeat as of Monday night:

  • State House District 112: Democratic challenger Brandy Chambers is losing to Rep. Angie Chen Button, R-Richardson, by 224 votes out of 69,009 (0.32%).
  • State House District 135: Republican challenger Justin Ray is down against Rep. Jon Rosenthal, D-Houston, by 317 votes out of 74,504 (0.43%).
  • State House District 47: Republican challenger Justin Berry is behind Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin, by 1,324 votes out of 134,408 (0.99%).

Rosenthal and Goodwin have declared victory, while the current No. 2 finishers across the three races have declined to concede.

“Votes are still being counted,” Chambers wrote Friday on Facebook. “Team Brandy wants every vote counted. We will not make any decisions until every single vote is counted.”

In Texas, Monday is the last day for counties to receive overseas and military mail-in ballots. Tuesday is the last day for counties to review provisional ballots so they can be sent to ballot boards for counting. Nov. 16 is the last day for ballot boards to count late-arriving mail-in and provisional ballots, and the next day is the canvass deadline.

A runner-up candidate is eligible to request a recount if the difference between the number of votes they received and the number of votes the No. 1 finisher received is less than 10% of the latter. (For instance, if the leading candidate gets 2,000 votes and second place gets 1,850 votes, the margin of 150 is less than 200, which is 10% of 2,000, so the second-place candidate can call for a recount.)

The deadline to request a recount is 5 p.m. the second day after the canvass. If the second day is on a weekend, the deadline rolls over to Monday.

All three races where there has not been a concession yet were hotly contested by both sides.

Each one factored in to the fight for the state House majority, which is remaining in Republican hands. Democrats were nine seats away from the majority before Tuesday, and they fell far short of it, picking up one seat and losing another.

In the lone congressional race that had been unresolved, Republican Beth Van Duyne defeated Democrat Candace Valenzuela. Decision Desk HQ, which is powering The Texas Tribune’s results, called the race Monday night as Van Duyne led by 4,629 votes out of 340,933. Valenzuela and Van Duyne were competing to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, in what national Democrats saw as one of their best pickup opportunities in Texas. They aimed to flip 10 GOP-held seats here and have not notched any gains.

In at least the 24th Congressional District, the No. 1 finisher, Van Duyne, has called on the current runner-up to accept defeat. Valenzuela had not conceded around the time Decision Desk made the call.

“Once again, I will repeat, Beth Van Duyne will be the Congresswoman for Texas’ 24th District,” Van Duyne’s campaign manager, Donald Rickard, said in a statement Thursday. “Candace Valenzuela has no path whatsoever.”

                <p>This article originally appeared in <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/">The Texas Tribune</a> at <a href="https://www.texastribune.org/2020/11/09/texas-house-congressional-races-undecided/">https://www.texastribune.org/2020/11/09/texas-house-congressional-races-undecided/</a>.</p>
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