The race at Iowa House District 20 between Josh Turek and Sara Abdouch—in which Turek narrowly defeated Abdouch—is not quite over yet.
The district includes Council Bluffs and Carter Lake in western Iowa. According to Pottawattamie County’s official poll, Turek has 3,404 votes versus Abduch’s 3,397.
“We requested a recount this afternoon,” Abdouch said Thursday on her campaign’s Facebook page. “I’ll update as we learn more.”
Abdouch, a Republican election denier, has previously insisted that “the 2020 election was stolen” and President Joe Biden was “not the president.”
Turek, a Democrat, is a former Paralympic gold medal basketball player.
He told Starting Line he expected he would have done the same in Abduch’s position given the “razor thin margin” but that he had “complete confidence” in the election and poll workers and expected the recount wouldn’t change the outcome .
“I think this election should once again make it clear to people that your vote matters and that every vote counts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Turek celebrated his win.
“I am humbled and honored to be elected as the next state representative for House District 20!” he wrote on his own campaign Facebook page. “This was not won alone and I have been blessed to have the support and help of so many people.”
The district is almost equally divided between Democrats and Republicans 4,841 registered Republicans, 4,782 registered Democrats and more 4,624 No voters.
Like other Democratic candidates across the state, Turek’s greatest performance came in mail-in ballots, where he more than doubled Abduch’s 1,123 to 540, according to official results. Election Day results otherwise favored Abdouch in all but one of the 17 counties.
The number of early Iowa Republican votes plummeted this year, with far fewer registered Republicans using the absentee ballot option, likely due in part to former President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories on the issue.
Pottawattamie County Assistant Auditor Kristi Everett confirmed that Abdouch requested the recount. On Friday, she said her office is waiting for more information from the campaigns before proceeding. For a recount, each candidate selects an officer, then those officers select a third officer to oversee the count. This third representative has not yet been selected.
“If they pick someone today and want to start next week, let’s start,” Everett said.
She said she didn’t expect the count to take too long, but noted the most time-consuming aspect will be for the ballots to sift through all the absentee results to find the 1,687 absentees who won the race in the district 20 charge.
Everett said if the commissioner is selected soon and the count begins, race results could be available as early as Wednesday or as late as December 3.
by Amie Rivers
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