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Possible recounts loom in tight Florida gov, Senate contests

Associated Press • Nov 9, 2018 at 10:52 AM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Razor-thin margins in Florida’s bitter races for the U.S. Senate and governor are raising the specter of possible recounts, potentially prolonging two of the most closely watched contests of the nation’s midterm elections.

In the governor’s race, Democrat Andrew Gillum’s campaign said Thursday it’s readying for a possible recount. He conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night, though the race has since tightened. As of Thursday afternoon, DeSantis led Gillum by 0.47 percentage point.

Meanwhile, Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson has begun preparing for a potential recount in a race still too close to call against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Nelson’s lawyer called that race a “jump ball” — though Scott’s campaign urged Nelson to concede. Scott held a 0.21 percentage lead over Nelson on Thursday afternoon.

The tight races underscored Florida’s status as a perennial swing state where elections are often decided by the thinnest of margins. Since 2000, when Florida decided the presidency by 537 votes in a contest that took more than five weeks to sort out, the state has seen many close elections, but never so many dead heats in one year.

And like 2000, the counting process is becoming contentious.

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