Elizabeth Frizell, the former judge who was narrowly edged by her opponent in the Democratic race for the party’s district attorney nomination, says she has filed a request to recount the votes.
Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole says the recount request must be made with the Democratic Party chair, and that she has yet to receive that notification. I’ve left a message for Carol Donovan, the chair.
John Creuzot, a fellow judge, won the initial count by a total of 612 votes: 56,612 to 56,000. But Frizell refused to concede—and went quiet. Her campaign came back to life on Thursday to announce that she’d filed a formal request for a recount, which any candidate can request so long as the difference between the two is less than 10 percent of the winner’s total. Pippins-Poole says the county has until March 12 to finish counting provisional and military overseas ballots, but noted that it “shouldn’t be that many.”
“Democrats voted in record numbers this election, and because the difference in votes is too close to call (less than half of 1 percent), I feel it is in the best interest of Dallas County residents to make sure the election results are complete and confirmed,” read a prepared statement from Frizell.
The district attorney’s race generated national attention from numerous activism groups, including the ACLU and the Real Justice PAC, which was started by the writer and activist Shaun King. The ACLU didn’t endorse a candidate, but they did hire about 17 canvassers to knock on doors throughout Dallas to notify them about the race. King’s Real Justice PAC threw its weight behind Frizell, and funneled $100,000 into her campaign during the last week before voting.
Creuzot had the support of the city’s Democratic core, folks like state Sen. Royce West and U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. But Frizell attracted the reformers and activists, despite having similar stances to her candidate on bail reform, prosecutorial misconduct, diversion courts, and other topics surrounding criminal justice. King denounced Creuzot to his 1.6 million Facebook followers, harping on his decision to switch from a Democrat to a Republican and back again as the courthouse’s political winds shifted. Creuzot is widely known for introducing Dallas County to diversion courts, which would allow some nonviolent drug offenders to receive treatment rather than punishment for their crimes.
Creuzot out-earned and out-spent Frizell, and sped off to a commanding lead of more than 5,500 votes after early voting. Frizell outpaced Creuzot on Election Day by about 5,000 votes, but it wasn’t enough to make up the distance between the two.
If the recount is approved, it’ll take between three and five days to finish. Creuzot hadn’t returned an email seeking comment Friday afternoon.