Florida’s contested statewide races keep narrowing as local elections officials continue to tally votes in Florida’s 67 counties. The unofficial vote tally is due to state officials at noon Saturday, and automatic recounts are likely.
In the race for U.S. Senate, the margin of difference between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson is now just .18 percent – a difference of 15,068 votes.
In the governor’s race, the margin between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum has narrowed to just .44 percent – a difference of 36,199 votes.
Democrat Nikki Fried now leads in the Florida Commission of Agriculture race – a contest it appeared she lost on election night. She leads her Republican opponent, Matt Caldwell, by .04 percent – a difference of 2,924 votes.
The close races in politically divided Florida are sparking political fighting and already the first lawsuit has been filed – by Gov. Rick Scott in the race for U.S. Senate.
It’s worth pointing out that, in the governor’s race, 100,000 Florida voters eschewed the Republican and Democratic party candidates and chose lesser-known Independent or Reform Party candidates. More than 47,000 voters chose Reform Party candidate Darcy Richardson, and 24,354 people cast their ballots for Fort Lauderdale pastor Kyle Gibson, an Independent candidate.
What do those votes tell us about Florida politics? Like most things in this erratic election – we don’t know.