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<![CDATA[TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum said he has rescinded the concession he gave election night and looks forward to the machine recount of millions of ballots in his race against GOP opponent Ron DeSantis.
“I am replacing my words of concession in an unapologetic call that we count every vote,” Gillum said Saturday at a press conference.
Gillum blasted claims of fraud made by President Donald Trump, Gov. RIck Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in the days after the Nov. 6 election.
“We heard a chorus of voices — a chorus counting for the ending of counting in this process,” Gillum said. “What is their excuse for that? I’m not sure.”
Gillum’s decision puts the Florida governor’s race back into play as recounts began Saturday in that race and the state’s Senate race between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
we can’t do is stop counting votes because we don’t like the outcome,” Gillum said.
Gillum trailed DeSantis by .41 percent of the vote as of this afternoon, just three hours after county elections supervisors provided unofficial vote counts to Secretary of State Ken Detzner. The razor thin difference in Gillum’s race triggered a machine recount under state law of the roughly 8.2 million votes cast in the race.
Gilum said votes are still being counted.
“Every vote will be counted,” Gillum said. “I have got to imagine that if the shoe were on the other foot of my opponents, not one of them would stop until the votes are counted.”
Gillum spoke from his campaign headquarters in Tallahassee flanked by his lawyer, Barry Richard. He said the Legislature set the .5 percent threshold for machine recounts because at that margin, there’s a chance the race could change.
“I will tell you that the Legislature, when they divided these laws made the determination that the margins they set, there was a realistic chance,” said Richard, who represented George W. Bush in the historic 2000 recount against Democrat Al Gore.
Detzner had also called for machine recounts in the races for U.S. Senate and state Commissioner of Agriculture. Ongoing counts of provisional ballots filed for the Tuesday midterm election took days to process in a handful of counties across the state. The race for governor and U.S. Senate drew attention to ongoing counts in Broward and Palm Beach counties, which are heavily populated and rich with registered Democrats.
Scott took part in a public records lawsuit filed earlier this week that led Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and her Palm Beach County counterpart Susan Bucher to turn over provisional ballots for review.
Gillum had conceded in his race to DeSantis on Election night. But the count of provisional ballots whittled DeSantis’ lead from just over one 1 percentage point.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine