Clark County elections officials announced Wednesday that a mandatory hand recount shows Republican Sen. Don Benton won the district’s Senate seat by 74 votes over Democrat Tim Probst.
It’ll be Benton’s fifth term representing the 17th District in the state Senate. He released a statement calling the results “welcome news” that will strengthen the GOP in the Senate.
Democrats hold a 26-23 majority, but two fiscally conservative Democrats have previously joined forces with Republicans on budget issues. GOP leaders have suggested the same thing could happen in the upcoming session, giving them a philosophical majority.
“Today’s outcome also confirms Republicans will gain a seat in the Senate come January, for a total of 23, while the Democrats will fall to 26 seats. That leaves the door wide open to the possibility that when the 2013 legislative session begins, the Senate may again find itself led by a bipartisan group – a ‘coalition majority’ that will take a more conservative approach to the way tax dollars are spent.”
Benton received 27,542 votes to Probst’s 27,468 votes.