Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Smith declares victory, Johnson won't concede in tight state House race

Johnson, left, and Smith, right
With all Knox County precinct returns counted, state Rep. Eddie Smith led Democratic challenger Gloria Johnson by 154 votes, unofficial final returns showed.

With more than 22,000 total votes counted, Smith led by 50.35 percent to Johnson's 49.65 percent, according to Knox County Election Commission returns.

The difference in the race was even closer than the last time they competed, when Smith won by less than 200 votes.

But returns from neither provisional ballots nor absentee ballots have been released. Absentee ballots were to be counted by 11:30 p.m. or midnight Tuesday. And provisional ballots may not be known until Wednesday.

"We know this much so far," Smith said Tuesday night at GOP headquarters at the Crowne Plaza. "We won early voting and we know we won election day, and I know this, we have great people at the election commission who are working extremely hard."

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