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Dallas-area Republican asks for a recount in statehouse race, claiming 'irregularities'

Red, white and blue stickers that say "I voted today" are laid out on a white surface.
Mitch Borden
Marfa Public Radio
A Republican candidate for the Texas House who lost his primary is requesting a manual recount, alleging "irregularities."

A Republican candidate for the Texas House of Representatives is asking for a recount in his bid to represent North Dallas because of alleged “irregularities” on election night.

Barry Wernick narrowly lost his primary election for House District 108 against incumbent Rep. Morgan Meyer. Wernick – who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and calls himself a “constitutional conservative” – claims without evidence the Dallas County Elections Department used voting software “not lawfully certified” under state election law and didn’t provide election night returns.

“This is not a challenge to overturn the election results. It is an effort to expose flaws, if any, inherent in the current election systems and to protect future elections,” Wernick said in an X post.

Wernick said Elections Administrator Heider Garcia made the department's decision to use the voting software in question.

“He will do so again in May,” Wernick said in his X post. “Details of this failure have been noted by Texas examiners and have been known since 2019. That's a violation of election law, which says that the voting equipment used must be tested and certified.”

The recent primary election was Garcia's first as Dallas County’s elections administrator — he resigned from the same position in Tarrant County after political pressure from Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare.

In a statement, the department refutes Wernick's claims, noting unofficial results were updated hourly on election night, and that all voting equipment was certified by the Texas Secretary of State's Office.

"We welcome a recount,” Garcia said in the statement, "and are confident that it will confirm the accuracy and integrity of the election."

The race between Wernick and Meyer was closely contested, with only 523 votes separating the two candidates. The margin was less than 10% of the total number of votes Meyer received on election night, which, according to state law, is a valid reason for a candidate to ask for a recount. Wernick will have to pay, but said in the statement posted to X that his supporters have donated money to cover the cost of a manual recount.

Wernick received endorsements from Paxton and former President Donald Trump, whocalled Meyer a “RINO.”

Meyer, meanwhile, was among the 12 impeachment managers in last year’s trial against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and he was endorsed by Gov. Greg Abbott for supporting school vouchers.

Wernick said his call for a recount would benefit Republicans in their primary runoffs and the general election in November because it could help find anything “that could be used by Democrat challengers against them.”

“Republicans need to start being proactive on issues we claim are a priority, instead of reactive and always finding ourselves behind the eight ball with no recourse,” he added.

If the election result stands, Meyer will face Democrat Elizabeth Ginsberg in November.

Juan Salinas II is a KERA news intern. Got a tip? Email Juan at You can follow Juan on X @4nsmiley

Juan Salinas II is currently studying journalism at UT-Arlington. He is a transfer student from TCC, where he worked at the student newspaper, The Collegian, and his reporting has also appeared in Central Track, D Magazine, The Shorthorn and other Texas news outlets.