Once trailing her opponent in the Agriculture Commissioner race, Democrat Nicole “Nikki” Fried has pulled slightly ahead of Republican Matt Caldwell, according to unofficial results from the Florida Division of Elections.
Still, the vote count is razor thin — with Fried at 50.02 percent of the vote and Caldwell at 49.98 — and that means a recount is expected.
Fried, an attorney, former public defender and outspoken medical marijuana advocate, has been vying to become the first elected female Agriculture Commissioner in Florida.
Caldwell, a Republican state lawmaker and seventh-generation Floridian, has been helped by hefty campaign contributions — more than his opponent has collected — and an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association.
Some media outlets wrote that Caldwell was the winner on election night on Tuesday. But as more votes trickled in, Fried closed the gap and is now ahead slightly.
As of this evening, the Florida Division of Election shows Fried with 4,024,076 votes compared to Caldwell’s 4,021,235 votes. That’s a difference of 2,841 votes.