One of the most hotly contested Senate races looks like it could be headed for a recount

  • Florida Democratic Sen Bill Nelson has called for a recount in his US Senate race for reelection.
  • Republican Gov. Rick Scott claimed victory over Nelson early Tuesday morning – a declaration Nelson said was premature.
  • As of 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Scott had 50.2% of the votes, while Nelson had 49.8% – leaving a margin of 0.4 percentage points.
  • In Florida, recounts are automatically triggered when the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percentage points.

Florida Democratic Sen Bill Nelson has called for a recount in his US Senate race for reelection against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott, who has served as Florida’s governor since 2011, claimed victory over Nelson early Tuesday morning.

Despite conceding just after midnight, Nelson’s office told CNN that Scott had prematurely declared victory and that the incumbent senator would call for a recount.

In Florida, recounts are automatically triggered when the margin between the election’s winner and loser is less than 0.5 percentage points.

As of 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Scott had 50.2% of the votes, while Nelson had 49.8% – leaving a margin of 0.4 percentage points.

Votes are still being counted on Wednesday and the initial vote count won’t be finalised until Saturday at noon.

Read more:

Rick Scott claims victory in Florida Senate race over longtime Sen. Bill Nelson

Nelson said in a statement that his campaign will have “observers in all 67 counties watching for any irregularities, mistakes or unusual partisan activities” in the vote count.

Scott’s spokesman Chris Hartline, meanwhile, said that the “race is over.”

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

In Florida, there is no law allowing candidates to request recounts, but losing candidates can submit written requests for recounts not to be held, according to The Miami Herald.

Nelson has served in the Senate since 2001 and regularly criticised Scott for his environmental record.

Scott was barred from running for reelection as governor due to Florida’s term limits.

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