Canvassing of the November 2 election was completed Friday with the hotly

contested race for State Representative between incumbent Democrat Doug Gatewood and Republican Mike Houser finishing in a near dead heat. Official results show Douge Gatewood won with 2,905 votes to Houser’s 2,828 a difference of only 77.

According to Cherokee County Clerk, Crystal Gatewood, there were 95 provisional ballots accepted with two under votes or votes that affected neither candidate and 19 votes were thrown out.

Houser said  he is planning to request a recount but is not entitled to an automatic one meaning he will have to post a bond to cover the cost of a recount.

In the State of Kansas there is no provision for an automatic recount unless the difference is less than one half percent.

Following the canvas Doug Gatewood held a lead of 2.02 percent over Houser.

Doug Gatewood said the tight race “reflects the overall feeling in the country. There was a lot of anxiety toward incumbents. I just want to thank everyone for their support and pledge to keep their best interests in mind.”

Houser, however was less than satisfied

“We received 49 percent of the votes and it would be wrong not to have a recount,” Houser said. “I owe it to my supporters to have a recount.”

He will file by noon on Monday and expects the results before noon on Nov. 12.

“This was my first experience with the election process and I learned a lot during the campaign and the actual election night experience,” Houser said. “One of my goals, should the vote place me in office, will be to stress voter education.”

Houser said he told Doug Gatewood that “win or lose, we’ll do this again.”