Democratic challenger Kristine Reeves has regained a narrow lead over Republican incumbent Teri Hickel in the contest for 30th LD State Representative, Position 2, as of the completion of the fourth tabulation of ballots since Election Night.
On Friday, Hickel had a lead of just two votes, with a total of 9,009 votes to Reeves’ 9,007. Reeves had been ahead in the initial two counts on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, but was overtaken by Hickel in the Thursday count.
Hickel’s seventy-one vote lead lasted all of twenty-four hours, and now it’s completely gone, with Reeves having won back a small lead of her own.
Who wins is inconsequential for the purposes of qualification for the November ballot, because the Top Two is an election that produces two winners — and Reeves and Hickel were the only people who filed to run House, Position 2 in the 30th. They’ve both been guaranteed a spot on the November ballot since the close of Filing Week back in May. And they are so close together in this beauty contest that the race can be called a textbook case of a dead heat.
Regardless, there is a symbolic victory to be won here. Whoever emerges as the candidate with the most votes at the end of counting will be able to declare on the campaign trail from now until November 8th that they received the most votes in the first round. Symbolic victories are useful for energizing supporters and donors.
Democrats and Republicans are watching the contest between Reeves and Hickel closely (along with the contest between Democratic challenger Mike Pellicciotti and Republican incumbent Linda Kochmar for the other House position) because it’s in the 30th that control of the House of Representatives could well be decided.