The Florida governor's race is suddenly a lot closer, and the door is creaking open to a possible recount

Mark Wallheiser/Getty ImagesFlorida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
  • Tallahassee’s Democratic mayor, Andrew Gillum, conceded in Florida’s gubernatorial race on Tuesday night.
  • But 36 hours later, Democrats insist tens of thousands of votes remain uncounted.
  • Gillum’s campaign said Thursday that he is “ready for any outcome,” including a recount.

Tallahassee’s Democratic mayor, Andrew Gillum, conceded in Florida’s gubernatorial race on Tuesday night.

But 36 hours later – with Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis leading by just 43,000 votes (0.6 percentage points) – Gillum’s campaign said he was open to a recount.

“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count,” Gillum’s spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement. “Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount.”

Democrats – including Sen. Bill Nelson’s reelection campaign – say there are still tens of thousands of as of yet uncounted ballots in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, all of which are left-leaning.

Nelson, who is currently losing to Republican Rick Scott by just 22,000 votes (about 0.26 per cent), has not accepted defeat.

Florida requires an automatic machine recount if the candidates are within half a point of each other – and a hand recount if the diffence between the candidates is less than 0.25 per cent.

The competitive race – widely viewed as a proxy war between the progressive left and the far-right – attracted intense national scrutiny, with Democrats hopeful for a win amid a surge in voter turnout.

The candidates ran on dramatically different visions for the Sunshine state.

DeSantis, a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus who saturated his campaign with mentions of Trump, campaigned on his military background and deeply conservative positions on abortion, gun rights, and illegal immigration.

Gillum, the son of a bus driver and construction worker, highlighted his working-class roots, with promises to invest heavily in the state’s public schools and fight for stricter gun regulations and Medicare-for-all.

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