Florida candidates react to recount

Florida secretary of state ordered recount Saturday

It's a daunting task.

All 67 supervisors of elections offices in Florida will be recounting their ballots over the next few days because three midterm races were too close: the races for governor, U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner 

Race for governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum conceded Tuesday night but rescinded his statement Saturday.

“I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote," Gillum said.

But Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is already moving forward as governor-elect.

“Those results are clear and unambiguous just as they were on election night and I am honored by the trust that Floridians have placed in me to serve as your next governor,” he said.

Senate race

Sen. Bill Nelson's attorney told reporters by phone that he predicted the margin would be smaller and smaller this week.

"I am more sure than ever that when this process is complete that all the votes are counted that Sen. Nelson will be returning to Washington D.C. for another term," said Marc Elias, Nelson's attorney.

Rick Scott's campaign manager, Jackie Schutz Zeckman, is calling the recount a last-ditch attempt by Washington Democrats. 

"If they pull this scheme off, our Senate majority will be significantly weakened," Zeckman said. "With Nancy Pelosi now Speaker of the House, this would be a crushing blow to all the momentum our nation has built in the last two years under President Trump."

Agricultural commissioner

In the race for agricultural commissioner, Matt Caldwell had a significant lead until the recount.

"Our focus remains the same legal votes be counted," Caldwell said. "We went to bed Tuesday night with an over 40,000 vote lead and over the last four days you have seen Broward County continue to magically find ballot boxes ballots that they say should be counted and we when we ask them straightforward questions that any other supervisor can answer, where did these ballots come from, when were they cast and why they have not been counted yet we were stonewalled."

Caldwell said they have also filed a lawsuit.

Nikki Fried now has a lead in the race, her attorney Ben Kuehne said.

"We remain confident that as long as all verified and counted ballots are processed for the recount, then the results will confirm that Florida’s voters have chosen Nikki Fried as the next agriculture commissioner," Kuehne said.

About the Author:

Veteran journalist and Emmy Award winning anchor