Ortiz, Farenthold react to uncounted ballots found in District 27 race

Blake Farenthold File Photo

The election for the Disrict 27 congressional seat took a very interesting turn on Thursday.

Nueces County officials announced that a bag of uncounted votes Thursday afternoon.

The uncounted votes will be opened and counted at the Nueces County Courthouse at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The ballots may affect the outcome of the District 27 race where Democratic incumbent Solomon Ortiz fell to Republican challenger Blake Farenthold by 799 votes.

Ortiz did not concede defeat in the race saying there were irregularities at two polling place.

The 27-year congressional veteran said he wanted the ballot to be officially canvassed as well as having all absentee military ballots counted.

U.S. Congressman Solomon Ortiz issued a statement about the uncounted ballots:

Yesterday we urged caution and today that caution was proved warranted as election officials found a bag of uncounted votes. It TMs imperative that the voters of this community have the chance to have their voice heard but this new revelation of uncounted votes that were apparently ~misplaced TM combined with the well-known remaining votes to be counted and well-documented concerns about voting irregularities only reaffirm the need to be diligent and respect our election process. It is Representative Ortiz TMs priority that every person TMs vote is fully accounted and everyone TMs voice is heard " anything short of that is an affront to the Democratic process. Until the votes are counted and, if appropriate, recounted to ensure accuracy, there remains no winner in this race.

Farenthold told Action 4 News that he was at the Nueces County Courthouse late Thursday afternoon.

The congressional candidate reported via text message that it was only a handful of ballots cast during a power outage.

Farenthold spokesman Steve Rey said the campaign remains very skeptical about the ballots.

Ray issued the following statement on behalf of the Farenthold campaign:

"This smacks of Box 13 politics. I thought we had left this behind with George Parr's death. While we want every legal vote counted, we will not standby and let anyone steal this election."

Box 13 is a reference to a box of fictious ballots that were found and allowed Texas politician and Lyndon Baines Johnson to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

George Parr is a Duval County political boss for the Democratic Party who maintained power through bribery, corruptoin and illegal donations.