In an election challenge that’s conjuring up nightmarish images of hanging chads, butterfly ballots and George W Bush’s 537-vote margin of victory in the 2000 presidential election, it’s looks increasingly likely that Republicans’ narrow victories on Tuesday in Florida’s senatorial in gubernatorial races could be headed for a recount.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott defeated Democratic Senator Bill Nelson for his US Senate Seat. And Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum conceded defeat to Ron DeSantis in the state’s gubernatorial race. But as votes continue to be tallied, it’s looking increasingly likely that the Senate race could be headed for a hand recout – and the governor’s race could be headed for a machine recount, in accordance with Florida law, as CNN reported.
Sen. Bill Nelson’s re-election bid is likely headed to a hand recount given that the incumbent Democrat now trails Florida Gov. Rick Scott by 17,000 votes, within the .25% margin required for a hand recount. Nelson’s campaign aides believe he will emerge victorious once all the ballots are counted.
And on the governor’s side, Democrat Andrew Gillum – after conceding the race on Tuesday evening – has grown more supportive of a recount of late, in part because his deficit to Republican Ron DeSantis is down to 38,000 votes, within the .5% needed for a machine recount. Campaign aides, though, remain clear eyed about the the long odds that Gillum can make up that deficit.
Recounts, which have not officially been authorized in either race, put the outcome of two of the most closely watched races of 2018 on hold, with Democrats hoping for a miracle that could get both Gillum, a candidate who garnered considerable attention in his campaign against DeSantis, and Nelson, an incumbent who Democrats had thought would win his seat going into Tuesday night, over the finish line with a win.
“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported,” Gillum’s communications director Johanna Cervone said in a statement. “Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted.”
At no point in the statement, though, did Gillum’s campaign withdraw the concession and sources close to the mayor highlight that his outlook hasn’t changed since his Tuesday night speech. …read more