A former Republican state representative has withdrawn his challenge to election results that initially showed he lost by one vote in November.
A recount of the contest for House District 13 resulted in a tie over the weekend, meaning that a special board overseeing the challenge would have had to decide the outcome using a coin-flip or by drawing a name out of a hat.
But the ultimate winner — Democratic Rep. Jim Glenn — said he would sue if the board went forward with the coin-flip.
And former Rep. D.J. Johnson said he would rather end his challenge than prolong what he called a “legal circus.”
“I will not put my district through that, I will not put my community through that. They deserve better,” Johnson told the board.
“The best solution would be for me to win a coin toss and I get seated. That would be best for me. But what’s best for my district, what’s best for my people and my community is that we end this.”
Johnson was first elected in 2016, unseating Glenn, then an incumbent who had represented the district since 2007.
After initial results showed Johnson losing the seat by one vote, he formally filed a challenge, a process whereby the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would ultimately determine the outcome.
A special election contest board comprised of 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats oversaw the challenge and ordered the Daviess County Clerk to conduct a formal recount, which resulted in a tie.
After Johnson withdrew his challenge, Glenn said the outcome allows him to “move forward.”
“It allows me to take care of the business on the people of the 13th District, which is why I was sent,” Glenn said. “It allows me to focus and not split my time between fighting a court case and working in the statehouse.”
With the conclusion of the election contest, the political makeup of the House of Representatives is finally set — there are 61 Republicans and 39 Democrats.
Johnson said he hadn’t decided whether to run for the seat again in 2020, but that he “hadn’t thrown away his yard signs.”