Florida is headed for a recount in the races for governor, Senate, and agricultural commissioner, prompting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum to withdraw his concession to Republican candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis.
“I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote,” Gillum said at a press conference in Tallahassee, according to the Associated Press.
Florida’s secretary of state announced on Saturday afternoon that officials had finished unofficial ballot counts in the three tight races, which fell within the .5% margin that triggers a machine recount.
According to CNN, the unofficial tallies are as follows:
- Republican Rick Scott leads Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the Senate race by more than 12,500 votes, or .15%.
- DeSantis leads Gillum by 34,000 votes, or .41%.
- Democratic agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried leads Republican Matt Caldwell by 5,326 votes, or .06%.
Recount results are expected by Thursday afternoon.
While this was occurring, President Donald Trump tweeted from France, where he met with President Emmanuel Macron, saying that Democrats are, “Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! ”
It is the same claim that Gov. Rick Scott repeatedly has made without evidence. In a televised statement outside the governor’s mansion on Thursday, Scott accused “left-wing activists” and Democrats of “rampant fraud” and attempting to “steal this election,” HuffPost reported.
Now that the recounts have been announced, both Scott’s and DeSantis’ campaigns are continuing to criticize the process and act as if the election were over.
“It’s time for Senator Nelson to accept reality and spare the state of the Florida the time, expense and discord of a recount,” said Scott’s spokesman, Chris Hartline, according to CNN.
In a YouTube video, DeSantis claimed the unofficial vote counts were “unambiguous.”
“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,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis added that his team already had begun “transition efforts to build an administration that can secure Florida’s future.”
CNN noted that more overseas military and civilian ballots could still be in the mail and would be counted if they are postmarked and signed by Election Day. The deadline for receipt of those ballots is Nov. 16.
In another close race in Georgia’s gubernatorial election, Republican candidate Brian Kemp urged Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams to concede, saying her failure to do so is “a disgrace to democracy,” according to AP. Kemp is leading Abrams by about 63,000 votes, but Abrams says thousands of provisional and military ballots haven’t yet been counted.
In Arizona, officials continued counting ballots for a close Senate race on Saturday, with an updated tally expected at 5 p.m. local time. Before that update, Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema was leading Republican Martha McSally by more than 18,500 votes.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee accused Democrats of cheating in that race, too.