Fla Senate race still up in the air: Bill Nelson demands a recount, says Rick Scott jumped the gun

The US Senate race in Florida between the state’s Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott could be headed to a recount.

The incredibly close race which has Scott in the lead over the incumbent Nelson, with fewer than 35,000 votes separating the two, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

With all of Florida’s precincts reporting by Wednesday morning and more than 8.1 million ballots cast, the difference of 0.42 percent could trigger an automatic recount as state law requires it if the difference in a race is less than 0.5 percent.

Nelson, a three-term incumbent as Florida’s senator, reportedly conceded just after midnight Tuesday, according to Roll Call. Politico reported that “Nelson’s campaign issued a statement at 1 a.m. saying it was ‘not the result Senator Nelson and his campaign had worked so hard for,’ but that the statement was ‘not a concession.’

“This is obviously not the result Senator Nelson’s campaign has worked hard for,” Nelson’s campaign manager, Pete Mitchell, said Tuesday night, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “The senator will be making a full statement tomorrow to thank all those who rallied for his cause.”

Nelson apparently had not called Scott to concede and confusing reports made for conflicting reactions, including from the state’s Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

Scott also appeared to make a victory speech Tuesday before the race had been called.

On Wednesday morning, Nelson referred to Scott’s lead as “razor-thin” and announced, “We are proceeding to a recount.”

Scott’s campaign seemed to characterize Nelson’s actions as an attempt to cling to power.

“This race is over,” Scott spokesman Chris Hartline said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career. He is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists.”

An official recount notice would come from Scott-appointed Secretary of State Ken Detzner and would mean Florida’s 67 counties would have to recheck their tallies.

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Frieda Powers


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