Florida Senate Race Between Scott, Nelson May Be Headed to Recount

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 7, 2018Politics

The Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott in Florida may be headed for a recall.

Unofficial results show Nelson narrowly trailing Scott by a little more than 34,500 votes out of a total of 8.1 million ballots cast, Nelson’s office told CBS. That’s less than a one-half percentage point margin.

Florida law requires a recount when candidates are within a one-half percentage point. “We are proceeding to a recount,” Nelson said on the morning of Nov. 7.

According to The Associated Press, the final results of the vote had Scott with 50.2 percent or 4,073,835 votes. Meanwhile, Nelson had 49.8 percent or 4,029,298 votes.

The narrow margin came after Scott declared victory after Fox News projected a win on Nov. 6.


Rick Scott at a rally
GOP Senate candidate Florida Gov. Rick Scott at a Make America Great Again rally in Fort Myers, Fla., on Oct. 31, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)


Nelson, Scott race may end in recount
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) attends an election sign waving event at US 1 at US 1 & Eau Gallie Boulevard during the final full day of campaigning in the midterm election in Melbourne, Fla., on Nov. 5, 2018. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“This race is over,” Scott spokesman Chris Hartline said in a statement Wednesday.

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

But Nelson also seemed to concede late Tuesday, with his former chief of staff announcing there wasn’t a clear path to victory. After more votes came in, Nelson called for a recount.


If there is a recount it would need to produce a margin of over 0.25 percent.

If the margin is at or under that percentage point after a machine recount then a manual recount is conducted, reported the Orlando Sentinel.

No official agency has said that a recount will happen as of yet.

Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis
President Donald Trump, Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis (R), and his wife at a Make America Great Again rally in Fort Myers, Fla., on Oct. 31, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

DeSantis Wins

While Nelson still may have a chance, the governor’s race that Democrats had high hopes for went to Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis.

He said in his victory speech that he would focus on the toxic algae that has plagued parts of the coast.

“I’ve talked to the president about this. … I told him some of this infrastructure needs to get going. We just got the reservoir off the rise, there’s a lot we need to do there,” he said, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

“We’re also looking forward to appointing the three [state] Supreme Court justices. These will be very, very smart very principled people. They’re going to understand their role is to understand the law, not rewrite the law,” DeSantis said.

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