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Republican challenger concedes Indiana House District 71 race

Jeffersonville City Council member Scott Hawkins is running for the District 71 seat in Indiana's House of Representatives.
Jeffersonville City Council member Scott Hawkins is running for the District 71 seat in Indiana's House of Representatives.

Republican Scott Hawkins has conceded to Democratic incumbent state Rep. Rita Fleming in the close Indiana House District 71 race.

Hawkins was leading Fleming by 35 votes in unofficial Election Night results, which the Clark County Clerk said was too close to call.

The Clark County Election Board held a vote canvass on Nov. 11 after finding a voting machine error that left more than 1,000 ballots uncounted.

The discovery and subsequent canvass flipped the race in favor of Fleming, a result that was certified with the Indiana Election Division last week.

“While I’m still unclear as to how the error occurred, I accept the results,” Hawkins said Friday in a statement on his Facebook page. “We fought a long, tough campaign. I have literally [hundreds] of people to thank. It was an exhausting experience, but a rewarding one, from which I have no regrets.”

Hawkins, a high school teacher, said he plans to return to work as a Jeffersonville City Council member and president of the city’s Economic Redevelopment Commission.

He also voiced concerns about election integrity in his statement.

“Mistakes happen but we need to have confidence in the integrity of the election process,” Hawkins said in the statement. “Flawed and then delayed results, even for legitimate reasons, don’t give confidence to the voting public.”

The win will send Fleming, a retired OB-GYN, to the Indiana Statehouse for a third term. House District 71 includes Jeffersonville, Clarksville and parts of New Albany.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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