District 3 legislator stays in race
Canvass gives Hoverson narrow win
By the narrowest of margins, Republican Jeff Hoverson may have avoided an automatic recount in winning a general election berth in the District 3 House race.
Hoverson held a one-vote lead, 617-616, over Roscoe Streyle in unofficial results on election night June 14. Following election certification by the Ward County Canvassing Board Monday, the total ballots cast in Ward County increased from 6,454 to 6,493, with 22 of those additional ballots cast in District 3.
The canvassing board certified District 3 House results showing Lori VanWinkle with 797 votes, Hoverson with 627 and Streyle with 619. An automatic recount is triggered if the vote spread is 1% or less of the highest vote count, or 7.97 or fewer votes in this case. The vote spread between Hoverson and Streyle is just outside that margin at 8 votes. The Ward County Auditor’s Office planned to check with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office to verify whether an automatic recount would be triggered.
If not, Streyle has the option to demand a recount, although he would have to fund that process. County Auditor Marissa Haman roughly estimated the cost at nearly $50 an hour to have a board spend a day reviewing the District 3 election results.
Streyle was unavailable for comment.
Hoverson compared the waiting for final results to watching one’s high school basketball team play a close game.
“Obviously, I feel thrilled that the gap widened out further,” he said. “I’m not too worried about a recount now.”
He said he feels comfortable that a recount would not significantly change the results.
Hoverson, who is seeking his second term, said he can’t say for sure what led to the tight race. He noted advertising by a political action committee that attacked his voting record may have been a factor, although he called the advertising “misleading.”
Hoverson is a member of the Legislature’s Bastiat Caucus, the more conservative wing of the Republican Party. Along with going further in calling for spending and tax cuts, he has been an opponent of mandates associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a clear difference,” he said of the political positions of Streyle and himself. Streyle is a former representative who served from 2011-2018.
On the Democratic-NPL side, Joseph “Joey” Nesdahl advanced in the primary to the general election ballot in the District 3 House race.