Mitch McConnell enters Florida election fray

Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Screenshot.

Recount logoU.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is sending out a fundraising plea to get people to donate money for Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s recount lawyers, claiming Democrats are trying to “steal this election” – despite the fact that the recount is mandated by state law.

Scott leads incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson by 12,603 votes, or 0.15 percent. Hand recounts are mandated under Florida election law when any race is within a .25 percent margin. Scott’s appointed Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, ordered the hand recount yesterday. A statewide recount is also happening in the race for Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services between Democrat Nikki Fried and Matt Caldwell because the margin is .06 percent.

McConnell asks people to donate to an “emergency fund” because “Unfortunately, the Democrats aren’t accepting the result” of the contested election.

McConnell’s plea for cash takes a shot at his political adversary in the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Despite Governor Scott leading by over 12,000 votes, Democrats led by Chuck Schumer’s lawyer are launching numerous court challenges and a long shot recount bid to try to undermine Florida law and the will of the voters.”

Scott has been acting as if he’s already won the race against Nelson and he’s also claiming that Democrats are trying to “steal the election,” despite the fact his own administration ordered the hand recount in compliance with state law. Earlier this week, Scott went to Washington and posed for a picture with McConnell and newly-elected Republican U.S. senators from around the country.

“I’m proud to say Rick is fighting back with everything he has,” McConnell writes in his financial plea. “He’s hired the best attorneys in the country, and his team is working around the clock to stop the Democrats’ shenanigans…Schumer’s plan is to tie this thing up in the courts as long as possible. He knows this will be expensive, and is hoping to have a cash advantage that will allow him to pull off the legal victories he needs to steal that election. We can’t let that happen.”

The Scott-Nelson race is the most expensive Senate race in the country, with more than $181 million spent by the two candidates and outside groups. Both sides are doing huge advertising buys on Facebook and other social media sites, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.



Julie Hauserman
Julie Hauserman has been writing about Florida for more than 30 years. She is a former Capitol bureau reporter for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times, and reported for The Stuart News and the Tallahassee Democrat. She was a national commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Splendid Table . She has won many awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work is featured in several Florida anthologies, including The Wild Heart of Florida , The Book of the Everglades , and Between Two Rivers . Her new book is Drawn to The Deep, a University Press of Florida biography of Florida cave diver and National Geographic explorer Wes Skiles.


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