Berry edges Zimmerman by 1 vote in unofficial final count for Texas House District 47 primary

Justin Berry beat out Don Zimmerman by one vote. (Courtesy Justin Berry)
Justin Berry beat out Don Zimmerman by one vote. (Courtesy Justin Berry)

Justin Berry beat out Don Zimmerman by one vote. (Courtesy Justin Berry)

Though not yet officially canvassed, final numbers from Travis County show Texas House District 47 Republican candidate Justin Berry beat out Don Zimmerman by one vote for second place, reversing the positions initially shown as county workers tallied the votes on election night and into the next morning.

With the first vote count coming in the early morning hours of March 4, Jennifer Fleck appeared to be and still is the front-runner, and Don Zimmerman appeared to be in second place for Texas' House District 47, with 5,760 votes and 4,099 votes, respectively.

The rules for the primary election state the victor must garner more than 50% of the total votes. Since no candidate tallied more than 50%, a runoff election will occur between the top two vote-getters May 26.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir confirmed March 11 Berry pulled ahead of Zimmerman with Fleck still comfortably in the lead. Now that the tally includes the newly counted mail-in and provisional ballots, Berry ended up with 4,105 votes to Zimmerman's 4,104.

DeBeauvoir said the final tally will be taken to the Travis County Republican Party, which will then take it to the Texas secretary of state's office to be canvassed.

The results are not official until all of the votes are canvassed, but if the numbers hold, DeBeauvoir said Fleck and Berry will likely face off in a May 26 runoff election.

Berry's campaign representative, Craig Murphy, said since Berry pulled ahead in the final Travis County numbers, it will be up to Zimmerman's camp to call for a recount, and that will be likely given Berry's razor-thin margin of victory.

"That's excellent news, and obviously we're thrilled," Murphy said upon learning Berry had taken the unofficial lead.

Andy Hogue, the Travis County Republican Party's communications director, said the canvassing will take place March 12 at 10 a.m., and after that, the count will be official.

"Looks like Don [Zimmerman] has some money left over to in theory finance a recount," Hogue said. "I think that would be within the realm of possibility."

Information from the Texas secretary of state's office states Zimmerman has until March 13 at 2 p.m. to call for a recount.

Once two candidates are selected to square off in the May 26 runoff, the victor of that race will face Democrat Vikki Goodwin in the Nov. 3 general election.

Community Impact Newspaper will update this story, as more information is forthcoming.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


A pilot Austin Police Department cadet class is now set to commence in June under an updated training regimen and with additional city and community oversight on the APD academy's culture and curriculum. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council votes to restart APD cadet training in June, with framework for ongoing reviews of pilot academy

The Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class will now kick off training next month, with continued oversight of APD's instruction and culture throughout the 34-week academy process.

A sign advertises a property for rent in Austin on May 6. Local eviction orders remain in place through August 1 protecting most tenants from eviction. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local eviction moratoriums remain in effect despite federal judge’s decision

The May 5 ruling from a U.S. District Court judge striking down a federal moratorium does not affect orders in place in Austin or Travis County.

Juneau was adopted at Austin Animal Center in November 2019. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Animal Center reaches critical capacity, opens doors to all adopters for first time since May 2020

Austin and Travis County’s animal shelter, Austin Animal Center, reached negative kennel space May 4, meaning there are more dogs than available kennels, according to a release from the city of Austin.

Residential appraisal valuations have been sent to Travis County property owners. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal Districts says hot housing market is reflected in 2021 appraisals

Property owners have until May 17 to file a protest of their home's appraisal.

The Austin City Council is set to meet May 6 to go over a 70-item agenda. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Votes on revamped APD cadet academy, possible shift in homeless strategy on tap May 6

Council may look to the possibility of establishing designated campgrounds for the Austin's homeless this spring, with a citywide public camping ban set to go into effect May 11.

The Wayback offers outdoor live music. (Courtesy Heather Thompson Photography)
Lake Travis mermaids, live music and more. Here's 13 things to do in the Lake Travis-Westlake region this spring

Here's a list of things to do in the Lake Travis-Westlake region from May to early June.

Heidi Sloan will assume the position of head of school on July 1. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)
St. Michael’s Catholic Academy announces new head of school

As director of academics, Sloan spearheaded the school’s Winter Term program—a global travel internship program currently in its sixth year.

Austin City Council will vote on whether to reboot the police department's training academy May 6. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Benchmarks for 'reimagined' APD cadet academy on track ahead of City Council commencement vote

Training of the Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class could get underway next month following an overhaul of the academy's instructional process and curriculum.

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vaccine vial with the words "vaccine news" superimposed
Austin-area health officials prep for vaccines to open to kids 12 and up

Austin-Travis County interim Health Authority Mark Escott said he expects the FDA to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for kids 12 and up within a week.

Catch up on election results from the Lake Travis-Westlake area. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
ROUNDUP: Election results, reactions from the Lake Travis-Westlake region

Lake Travis-Westlake residents took to the polls May 1 to cast their ballot in several location elections. Following the final results, the region will see a new mayor, a new school board member and changes to city charters.

Reunión 19 is serving tacos, burritos and more at The Waypoint Food Truck. (Courtesy Reunión 19)
East Austin taqueria opens location in Lake Travis food truck park

Reunión 19, an East Austin-based taqueria, opened a new food truck in April at The Waypoint Food Trailer Park in the Hudson Bend area.