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Republican DJ Johnson withdraws challenge for disputed election in the 13th District in Daviess Cty

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The furor over a disputed election for the 13th House District in Daviess County has ended after the person who sought an Election Contest Board withdrew his complaint.

During the November General Election, Democrat Jim Glenn edged Republican incumbent DJ Johnson by one vote. Johnson requested a recanvass, but the result remained the same, and Glenn was certified as the winner by both the Daviess County and State Boards of Election.

Johnson then requested an Election Contest Board, which is how state law provides for a dispute in a legislative seat.

The board met last month and voted 6-3, strictly along party lines, to conduct a recount, as there were 17 absentee ballots that were thrown out by the Daviess County Board of Elections.

Republican DJ Johnson has withdrawn his challenge over a contested House seat.

The local election board reversed its November decision and ruled five of the absentee ballots were eligible to be counted. Three were for Johnson, one for Glenn, and one had no vote in the House race, which gave each of the two men 6,323 votes apiece.

When the Election Contest Board in Frankfort on Friday, Johnson told them he would accept a coin flip to determine the winner, but Glenn said he would not accept that.  Johnson then withdrew his request for the Election Contest Board, leaving Glenn as the winner.

Johnson told reporters afterwards he doesn’t like to lose, “but in this case, success for me personally in a win that was going to create turmoil for my district, was going to create a legal circus for who knows how long, that is not in the best interest of the people in the 13th District.”

Johnson would not say if he planned to run again for the office in the 2020 election, as it’s a little early to commit. “I will leave it at this: I did not throw away my yard signs.”

Glenn said it’s time to move forward.  

“It allows me to take care of the business of the people of the 13th District.  It allows me to focus, and not split my time between fighting a court case and working in the Statehouse.

“We spent a lot of time and resources over the last 90 days,” Glenn said.  “I’m not criticizing anyone, but we could have tackled this the first 15 days after the election.”

Glenn would not say what his next step would have been, had the Election Contest Board decided in Johnson’s favor. 

“That’s a discussion between me and my lawyer.”

Johnson has agreed to pay $10,200 for the cost of the recount and has legal expenses as well. He said he was unsure if that would come out of his pocket, his campaign funds or if the Republican Party would pay for it, but that it would be paid.

House Speaker David Osborne commended Johnson for “once again make the people of the 13thHouse District his first priority. While withdrawing his challenge means that the election will end in a tie, he took a noble step and proved once again that he is truly a statesman. I hope that, for the benefit of our commonwealth, Mr. Johnson continues to put his gifts and talents to work through public service.”

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