Democratic Rep. Solomon Ortiz is revising his request for a recount after the Texas secretary of state’s elections division denied his first request Wednesday.
Ortiz currently trails former radio talk show host Blake Farenthold (R) by fewer than 800 votes in one of seven races that are undecided after the Nov. 2 midterm elections.
Texas law allows a candidate to ask for specific counties to be recounted but not specific precincts, so Ortiz’s original request to manually recount only certain precincts in Nueces County was denied. Ortiz’s campaign also failed to specify that he was asking for a manual recount as opposed to an electronic recount.
Director of Elections Ann McGeehan said in a letter to the Congressman’s campaign that an expanded recount covering all of Nueces County would be more expensive and that Ortiz had not submitted enough money to cover the cost. The amended recount request is expected to cost $23,500. Ortiz initially submitted $11,000 and on Wednesday paid an additional $12,000, according to a report on kiiitv.com.
Ortiz’s amended request for the recount is due by Nov. 24. His spokesman told the San Antonio Express-News that he will waste no time in filing again.
“Today, the Texas Secretary of State asked the Ortiz for Congress Committee for additional information regarding the recount request submitted to them on Tuesday,” Jose Borjon said Wednesday. “The Ortiz for Congress Committee will provide that information.”
Farenthold, who plans to attend freshman orientation on Capitol Hill next week, pounced on the opportunity to criticize the 14-term Congressman.
"Mr. Ortiz didn’t get enough votes on Election Day and he didn’t give them enough money for a recount. It seems he just keeps coming up short,” spokesman Steve Ray said in a statement.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.