Andrew Gillum Reverses Course Two Days After Conceding Florida Governor Race


A race that had initially been declared a win for Republican Ron DeSantis could now be too close to call, according to Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

According to The Associated Press, the Democrat conceded the election to DeSantis after polls closed on Tuesday, but his campaign has since hinted at the possibility that it will contest the results.

As The New York Times reported, the Tallahassee mayor was emotional when he told supporters he regretted that he “couldn’t bring it home” for them.

In a statement on Thursday, the Gillum camp said it is now preparing for a state-mandated recount. The statement cited new information in explaining its shifted stance.

“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count,” the campaign wrote. “Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported.”

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The statement concluded by reaffirming the campaign’s commitment to “ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted.”

Florida law requires a recount if the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent of the votes cast, the AP reported.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted about the state’s yet-to-be-counted ballots on Thursday, citing “Democrat strongholds” as the chief culprits.

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“Florida law requires counties report early voting & vote-by-mail within 30 minutes after polls close,” Rubio tweeted. “43 hours after polls closed 2 Democrat strongholds #BrowardCounty & #PalmBeachCounty are still counting & refusing to disclose how many ballots they have left to count.”

The Gillum-DeSantis race is not the only high-profile statewide campaign in Florida without a clearly accepted winner.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson was challenged by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in his bid for a fourth term. As of Thursday afternoon, the Senate race had not been officially called, though Scott has declared victory and some news organizations consider it over.

CNBC reported Thursday afternoon that both races could go to recounts.

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Nelson’s attorney told reporters this week that he believes the incumbent senator will be declared the winner after all the ballots are counted.

“The results of the 2018 Senate election are unknown and I think that you and the elections officials should treat it as such,” Marc Elias said on a conference call, according to WSLS.

He went on to say that historical precedents indicate the types of ballots still uncounted are more likely to favor Democrats.

“We believe that at the end of this process that Senator Nelson is going to be declared the winner and is going to return to the United States Senate.”

Scott, on the other hand, maintains a lead among counted ballots and has called on his rival to concede defeat.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
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