"It's been a pleasant whirlwind but a whirlwind nonetheless," Battles said.
Ultimately, Battles took 13,487 votes to Borders' 12,398 in the provisional vote count.
That slim win won't be challenged by Borders, though he didn't rule out a recount bid by the Republican Party.
"If the party does it, that's fine," Borders said. "I won't."
Instead, the lawmaker's sanguine about the loss, suggesting a visit to a children's hospital where kids remain in body casts needed to guide their growth places politics into perspective.
"For them, that's a permanent condition, unless the Lord heals them or until the Lord returns," he suggested. "Compared to that, for me, this is a temporary setback. ... I may be stepping down as a lawmaker, but I'm stepping up as a husband, father, and grandfather."
The loss came despite Borders taking Sullivan County by about 500 votes, yet narrowly losing his native Greene County by the narrowest of margins.
Locally, only seven votes separated the candidates in the district, which includes Highland, Jefferson, Richland, Smith, Stafford and Wright Townships in Greene County.
Battles, a four-term state representative, narrowly defeated the five-termer Borders in the state representative's native Greene County, drawing 695 votes -- 50.25 percent of the vote -- to Borders' 688 votes -- 49.75 percent of the ballots.
"I could've used a little bit more of my Greene County voting base," Borders allowed.
Redistricting of state legislative districts meant former District 64 Rep. Battles, 54, and current District 45 Rep. Borders, 53, squared off against one another, an unusual occurrence which sent both men into new campaign territory.
For Borders, that meant vying against Battles in his native Vincennes, while Battles ventured north into Sullivan and Vigo counties, new territories for both men.
"I worked like a dog down in Knox, but Kreg does live there," Borders said. "I got some votes, but they weren't enough."
Borders, the former mayor of Jasonville well-known for his appearances as an Elvis impersonator, has served in the Indiana General Assembly representing District 45 since 2004.
Battles, meanwhile, had served District 64 since 2006.
Borders called Battles around 8:45 p.m., noting the Democrat had finished the race 89 votes ahead.
Now, Battles said he must adjust to life as a lawmaker, rather than a candidate.
"You've got two different skill sets involved with being a candidate and being a state representative," Battles said. "Fortunately, I've had experience doing both."
Borders served on the Local Government Committee, Insurance Committee, and the Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation.
District 45 sprawls across southwestern Indiana containing sections of five separate counties. All of Sullivan County and much of northern, eastern and southern Knox County are included, as are much of western Vigo County and Elmore, Madison and Steele townships in northern Daviess County.
Larger communities in the district include Bloomfield, Worthington, Odon, Jasonville, Bicknell, Sandborn, Sullivan and West Terre Haute.