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Recount Requested for Texas House District Republican Runoff

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Empty Texas House Floor Seat | Image by Texas Tribune

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Candidate Mike Olcott lost the runoff primary election for Texas House of Representatives District 60 by just over 300 votes. Now, the self-described activist is asking for a recount.

Incumbent Rep. Glenn Rogers appears to be the winner with a slim margin of 52% of the vote after the primary runoff election held on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Olcott filed a petition for a recount, per a posting to his social media on June 2.

In that post, Olcott claimed that he had accepted his losing fate when the election night results showed he was 752 votes behind, but the gap had narrowed down to just 309 (out of 19,729 votes cast) the following day. He was moved to question the outcome after listening to his supporters.

“That development caused a flood of calls from our supporters concerned with the changing numbers,” Olcott wrote. “In order to provide our community peace, I filed a petition yesterday to formally ask for a recount of the backup paper ballots.

“While I do not expect foul play, HD 60 voters deserve to have full confidence that every legal vote was counted and the outcome was accurate. My hope is a recount will do just that.”

The May 24 election was a runoff between the two candidates after a primary held on March 1 left Rep. Rogers with 44% of the vote and Olcott with 36%.

The district west of Fort Worth consists mainly of Palo Pinto, Parker, and Stephens Counties.

Rogers received endorsements from Gov. Greg Abbott after the runoff campaign began and from Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), who donated more than a quarter-million dollars to Rogers’ campaign.

Olcott received the endorsement of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who stated he would not support any candidate who did not support school choice.

Rogers has opposed school vouchers, one proposal for increasing school choice, calling them a “slippery slope” that would undermine public education.

According to an analysis by political scientist Mark P. Jones of Rice University, of the 82 Republicans in the Texas House, Rogers ranks as the 29th most liberal.

Another Republican primary runoff candidate, Eric Contreras, vying to be commissioner of Parker County Precinct Four, has also requested a recount.

In his county-wide race, Contreras finished with just 10 votes fewer than his opponent, Mike Hale, a difference of just 0.2%.

“It was an extremely close election,” Contreras said. “I believe that every legal vote needs to be counted, and we need to make sure the folks know that every legal vote is counted.”       

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