There’s speculation of a recount in the Republican Primary race for Williamson County’s 368th District Court, since incumbent Rick Kennon won with just 12 votes more than challenger Donna King.
Williamson County Final Unofficial Election Day Results show 10,512 votes for Kennon and 10,500 for King.
“I’m glad I ended up on top. I’m ready to work and continue serving as the judge the next four years,” said Kennon, who started as 368th District judge in October 2013 when Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to replace a judge who retired.
King, a municipal court judge in Leander and an Austin solo, didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.
Kennon said the slim margins led to speculation of a recount, but he hasn’t heard yet whether King would ask for it. He added that he doesn’t think it would change the outcome.
“I don’t think either one of us thought it would be that close,” said Kennon, noting that he thinks the race was close because both candidates had ample experience and refused to campaign negatively.
Election law attorney Trey Trainor said, “Twelve votes is really close. In my opinion, that’s definitely recount territory.”
Trainor, who was general counsel at the Texas Secretary of State’s Office from 2005 to 2006, explained that election law allows any candidate to request a recount from her political party. First, the candidate waits for votes to be canvassed, making the election results official.
“The number may change from the 12. It may go up; it may go down,” said Trainor, a partner in Beirne, Maynard & Parsons in Austin.
Within seven days of votes becoming official, Trainor said King would have to ask the Texas Republican Party for the recount and post a bond. But the state party would likely assign the recount to the Williamson County Republican Party, which could take two to three days to recount the votes, he said. If King wanted to challenge the results further, she could file an election challenge in court, noted Trainor.
Williamson County Elections Administrator Jason Barnett said the Williamson County Republican Party would meet March 13 to canvass the votes, certify the results and make them official.
Williamson County Republican Party Chairman Bill Fairbrother wrote in an email, “The deposit required for a recount would be $8,900.”