Pena to request recount after losing by 10 votes

Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) Board President incumbent for board of trustee place 6 Minerva M. Peña waves to motorist on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, along Alton Gloor Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

Longtime incumbent Minerva M. Pena said on Wednesday morning she will request a voter recount after she lost the Brownsville Independent School District race for position 5 by only 10 votes, unofficial results show.

Pena was elected for the first time to the BISD board back in May of 2008 for the same position.

With all 47 precincts reporting, including mail in ballots, unofficial results show Pena received 16,480 votes compared to Marisa F. Leal who received 10 votes more, winning with a percentage of 37.89 ballots cast for her while Pena received 37.87 percent.

“I am very grateful to all the people who believe in [me] and voted for me,” Pena said Wednesday.

Although it is not immediately known how much the recount costs, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, it is $60 per every precinct that needs to be recounted.

According to the county’s Election Department, the voting ballot board will meet early next week to review provisional ballots, late ballots by mail and military/overseas ballots.

Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza said a recount would be premature as they still have provisional, late ballots by mail and overseas/ military votes to be considered on Tuesday of next week.

In an interview with The Herald before the results were posted, Pena said she is thankful for the voters and hopes the country moves forward.

“I want to thank them for believing in me, for supporting me and for praying that God places everyone in every position with his favor so we can move all the cities, the counties, the states and the country forward,” Pena said.

As of press time Wednesday, Leal did not respond to The Herald’s request for comment but in an in interview on Election Day she said she is thankful with those who exercised their right to vote. She is a longtime operations director for the United Parcel Service in Brownsville.

“I would like to thank everyone who came out and voted. It is very important that they exercise their right to vote and I would like to also thank my family and friends that came out and helped me out throughout this journey and it was very, very hard, but I am very happy,” she said.