Nelson Won’t Concede In Florida Senate Race: ‘We Are Proceeding To A Recount’

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images North America

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has decided not to concede in his close race against Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), he announced Wednesday morning.

“We are proceeding to a recount,” Nelson said in a brief statement.

The longtime senator trailed Scott by just under 35,000 votes, about 0.4 percent of the total vote, as of Wednesday morning. That’s close enough to trigger an automatic recount under Florida law, which states that any election within half a point can head to a recount.

Nelson was expected to grind out a close race against Scott, while Democrats were expecting to win the governorship there as well. Their failure to do so was one of the biggest disappointments for Democrats on election night.

It’s unclear how much of a chance Nelson really has to come back at this point. But recounts can lead to surprising results.

Nelson’s campaign says the┬ánext step in the process is for officials in the 67 counties to recheck their vote counts, and for the Nelson campaign to contact voters whose ballots were not counted due to a lack of ID or a matching address. There’s a noon Saturday deadline to determine whether there will be a recount.

“We expect the supervisors, regardless of their party affiliation, will discharge their constitutional duties,” said Marc Elias, Democrats’ top election attorney, who’s representing Nelson.

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