Florida race for gov­er­nor is likely headed to re­count

Lodi News-Sentinel - - NATION/WORLD - By David Smi­ley and El­iz­a­beth Koh

MI­AMI — The race for Florida gov­er­nor ap­pears headed for a re­count, as Demo­crat An­drew Gil­lum con­tin­ues to gain on Repub­li­can Ron DeSan­tis dur­ing the tal­ly­ing of the fi­nal un­counted bal­lots cast in the midterm elec­tions.

Gil­lum, the out­go­ing mayor of Tal­la­has­see, con­ceded the race Tues­day night af­ter re­sults ap­peared to show him too far be­hind his op­po­nent to make up the dif­fer­ence. DeSan­tis, a for­mer con­gress­man, gave his vic­tory speech shortly af­ter.

But thou­sands of votes re­mained un­tal­lied. And over the next 36 hours, the mar­gins grad­u­ally shrank.

As of 9 a.m. ET Thurs­day, DeSan­tis’ lead was just 42,948 votes out of 8,189,305 bal­lots cast — equal to 0.52 per­cent of the vote. Con­ces­sion speech or no, Florida law re­quires an au­to­matic ma­chine re­count in any race where the mar­gin of vic­tory is within one half of one per­cent­age point.

By 2 p.m., Gil­lum gained on DeSan­tis by an­other 4,441 votes, and now trails by only 0.47 per­cent.

Thou­sands of bal­lots still re­main un­counted, so it’s too soon to say whether a re­count will in­deed hap­pen in the race for gov­er­nor. Florida’s 67 elec­tions su­per­vi­sors must send their un­of­fi­cial num­bers to the state by 1 p.m. Satur­day, and cam­paign vol­un­teers were scram­bled around the state Thurs­day as su­per­vi­sors pre­pared to ex­am­ine pro­vi­sional bal­lots cast by vot­ers with un­re­solved is­sues at their polling places.

The Gil­lum cam­paign sent out an email to sup­port­ers Thurs­day af­ter­noon urg­ing those with pro­vi­sional bal­lots to call their su­per­vi­sor of elec­tions of­fices be­fore 5 p.m. to make sure their bal­lot was counted, and cam­paign spokes­woman Jo­hanna Cer­vone said the cam­paign was pre­pared for a re­count ef­fort.

“It has be­come clear there are many more un­counted bal­lots than was orig­i­nally re­ported,” she said in a state­ment. “Our cam­paign, along with our at­tor­ney Barry Richard, is mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion closely and is ready for any out­come, in­clud­ing a state-man­dated re­count.”

Gil­lum him­self took to Face­book Live to ad­dress sup­port­ers, though he did not ex­plic­itly com­ment on if he thought the re­count might re­sult in his win: “In spite of the fact that we’re a lit­tle bit down in the num­bers, we’re hope­ful that ev­ery sin­gle vote will be counted in this race,” he said. “That way, all of us can walk away feel­ing ex­tremely con­fi­dent about what each and ev­ery one of us did to go out here and have our say in this elec­tion.”

“I would be dis­hon­est if I didn’t say this wasn’t hard,” he added. “This is ex­tremely hard. But you know what, the fight for progress, the fight for change, the fight for what it is we want, it’s hard.”

DeSan­tis, speak­ing briefly with re­porters in Hialeah Gar­dens, said de­spite the po­ten­tial re­count process he was “look­ing for­ward to serv­ing” in of­fice.

“I’m proud to have been elected on Tues­day night. It’s a great honor,” he said. “We’re work­ing re­ally hard on the tran­si­tion. We’ll let the lawyers do what they got to do but we’re good.”

The race for Agri­cul­ture Com­mis­sioner and U.S. Se­nate also ap­pear headed for re­counts, al­though those races are closer and will likely force the state to con­duct re­counts by hand, which is re­quired when the mar­gins be­tween two can­di­dates are within a quar­ter of a per­cent. In a stun­ning re­ver­sal of elec­tion night re­sults, Demo­crat Nikki Fried ap­peared to pull ahead of Repub­li­can Matt Cald­well for the Agri­cul­ture Com­mis­sioner seat, prompt­ing some Democrats to project her win.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.