In another sign of just how close many of the contests were in Tuesday’s election, there’s the possibility of another recount in one of the statewide races in Florida that appeared to be won by a Republican. This one in the contest for state agriculture commissioner between the GOP’s Matt Caldwell and Democrat Nikki Fried.
As of Wednesday morning, Caldwell held a lead of less than 13,000 votes or 0.16 percent. Just under 8 million votes were cast in the race. A manual recount can be requested if the margin of difference between two candidates is 0.25 percent or less.
“This is the closest race since we’ve seen here in Florida since Bush v. Gore in 2000—we’re heading into a recount,” Fried said in a statement. “We are going to ensure that every vote is counted, in a race this close, everyones’ voices must be heard so the will of the people is upheld.”
The Florida Democratic Party vowed to stand behind Fried in her efforts to move forward with a recount.
“This race is too close to call, and there are still thousands of votes to be counted. Democrats will take every step to ensure that every single ballot is counted and we will be pursuing a recount in Nikki Fried’s election for the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs,” said Juan Peñalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.
Caldwell’s campaign doesn’t expect the vote totals to change as the result of any recount.
Earlier Wednesday, Democrat Bill Nelson requested an automatic recount in the U.S. Senate race, which Nelson lost by just over 34,000 votes to Gov. Rick Scott.
Under state law, a recount can only be triggered by the margin of votes. Ballots go to automatic recount if 0.5 percent of the votes, or less, separate the candidates. Counties have to report first unofficial returns to the state no later than noon on Saturday. If a race is still within the recount margin, a machine recount will be ordered. If race is still within a 0.25 percent margin, a manual recount would then be ordered.