Editor's Note: Lampasas County confirmed Wednesday that there were still a handful of votes not counted in the county's voting totals released to the public Tuesday night. The story and headline have been updated to reflect the potential fallout of the latest announcement.
An extremely close outcome means there will be a runoff election following Tuesday's Republican primary for Lampasas County District Clerk.
Edith Wagner Harrison and Trina Hudson are expected to participate in the May 22 runoff, which happens when no candidate gets at least 50-percent of the vote. Harrison took 35.5-percent of the vote -- finishing first. But, Hudson's second-place finish was made possible by a mere two votes -- based on the unofficial results emailed Tuesday night by Lampasas County. She took 1,003 votes compared to incumbent Cody Reed's 1,001 votes. However, since only the top two finishers participate in a runoff election, that would be enough to push out Reed -- assuming the unofficial results stand.
But, there's a twist. Lampasas County Deputy Elections Administrator Susie Bays-Miller announced Wednesday that there were still mail and provisional ballots that needed to be counted. She originally said there were fewer than 20 ballots left. The office later told Channel 6 News Reporter Emani Payne that there were only seven provisional ballots and three mail ballots that still needed to be counted. However, that could still be enough to change the outcome in Reed's favor. The elections office offered no timeline for when those remaining ballots would be counted and said none of the three candidates had requested a recount, as of Wednesday afternoon. Susie said she believed any candidate who wanted a recount would likely wait until the final results were calculated before doing so.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Reed said he had no comment and referred Channel 6 to his attorney. We reached out to that lawyer and will update this story if the attorney decides to comment.
If Reed still loses after the final votes are tabulated, his loss would come on the heels of a bizarre scandal stemming from a missing refrigerator, which resulted in his arrest. His lawyer argued the whole fridge investigation was intended to hurt Reed and help Hudson.
"I have no comment or opinion regarding the investigation of Cody Reed," Hudson said in a statement back in February. "My 20 years of work in the criminal justice system has left me with the utmost respect for a defendant’s presumption of innocence. I am running on the platform that I will do a better job organizing and running the District Clerk’s office, and I want that to be the focus of my campaign."
Harrison ran as an independent when she was defeated in 2016.