This is a huge win for Republicans and for the entire State of Florida!
Had the Democrat Gillum won, Florida would have been headed in a very negative direction.
It is also a huge strategic advantage for the Republicans to hold the Governorship heading into the 2020 general election – and Trump’s re-election bid.
After demanding a recount, Gillum still lost and according to the USA Today “the margin barely changed.”
The Sun Sentinel put it even more bluntly: “Gillum gained only ONE vote.”
In fact, the margin of victory is so large for DeSantis that a hand recount cannot be demanded at this time.
The only remaining option is for Gillum to file a Court Case. It’s not immediately clear what his claim would be in such a case.
The USA Today had more on the story:
Andrew Gillum will have to rely on the courts if he has any chance to become Florida's first black governor.
A recount of more than 8 million ballots that ended Thursday afternoon confirmed that Republican Ron DeSantis beat the Democratic Tallahassee mayor in the nationally watched race that galvanized progressives across the country.
The final tally, headed to certification next week, was 4,075,445 for DeSantis and 4,041,762 for Gillum.
The margin of victory was enough for DeSantis, a former congressman representing Jacksonville, to avoid a hand recount of questionable ballots set aside for further review. He had already assembled a transition team to prepare for his ascendance as Florida's 46th governor.
But Gillum is not conceding. He and his supporters believe there is still a path to victory: lawsuits that could add more votes in support of him.
“A vote denied is justice denied — the State of Florida must count every legally cast vote," Gillum said in a statement after the recount totals were released. "As today’s unofficial reports and recent court proceedings make clear, there are tens of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We plan to do all we can to ensure that every voice is heard in this process. Voters need to know that their decision to participate in this election, and every election, matters. It is not over until every legally casted vote is counted.”
The deadline for the recount was 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Thursday but Palm Beach County, a Democratic stronghold, did not complete its recount. It was the only one of Florida's 67 counties that failed to do so. A lawsuit filed by Democrats could find more votes for Gillum there, for example.
After Election Day, DeSantis, led Gillum by fewer than 34,000 votes or a margin of .409 percent. At the time, the race was one of three under a statewide mandated recount. Margins in the Senate and state's agriculture commissioner were also under the half-percent margin needed to automatically trigger a machine recount.
After the recount, the margin barely changed.
The Sun Sentinel also covered the big victory:
TALLAHASSEE — Amid a dizzying whir of legal action, questions over uncounted ballots and the failure of two South Florida counties to meet the deadline, a machine recount produced little change in the overall results to three statewide races Thursday.
Even so, the U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner races are headed to manual recounts, results of which are due to the state by noon on Sunday. Certification of the official election results is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.
In the governor’s race, the recount showed that Democrat Andrew Gillum trailed Republican Ron DeSantis by 33,683 votes, a net gain of 1 vote for Gillum from the unofficial results reported last week. The margin was 0.41 percent out of more than 8 million votes cast, outside the 0.25 percent threshold needed for a manual recount.
Although the lead appears insurmountable, Gillum would not concede and called for counting to continue. He stopped short, however, of filing a lawsuit to demand that.
“A vote denied is justice denied — the State of Florida must count every legally cast vote,” Gillum said. “As today’s unofficial reports and recent court proceedings make clear, there are tens of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We plan to do all we can to ensure that every voice is heard in this process.”
Scott urged Nelson to forgo the hand recount and concede the race.
“Our state needs to move forward,” Scott said. “We need to put this election behind us, and it is time for Bill Nelson to respect the will of the voters and graciously bring this process to an end rather than proceed with yet another count of the votes – which will yield the same result, and bring more embarrassment to the state that we both love and have served.”
For agriculture commissioner, Democrat Nikki Fried held a 5,307 vote lead over Republican Matt Caldwell in that race after the machine recount, a net gain of 19 votes for Caldwell.
Meanwhile, a spate of seven lawsuits in federal court, along with a string of other cases in local courts throughout the state, continues to bedevil Florida’s attempt to settle its elections.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker chided the state and Palm Beach County election officials for not anticipating issues with the election.
“We have been the laughingstock of the world, election after election, and we chose not to fix this," Walker said in court.
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