Democrat Andrew Gillum Concedes in Florida Governor's Race

Andrew Gillum speaks on Aug. 31 2018 in Orlando.                        Joe Raedle  Getty

Democrat Andrew Gillum, who had sought to become Florida's first black governor, conceded on Saturday as a recount of ballots neared its end, and he congratulated rival Republican Ron DeSantis, an ally of President Donald Trump.

In that statement, DeSantis also said he was humbled by the support he received and called it a "great honor the people of Florida have shown me as I prepare to serve as your next governor". In it he says: "We see you and we hear you, and your voices will continue to power us".

Gillum initially conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted that when it appeared that a recount was in order in the tight race. "He never gave up and never will", the president tweeted, before saying Mr Gillum would become a "strong Democrat warrior" in the future and "a force to reckon with".

"Campaigns are meant to be vigorously debated contests of ideas and competing visions for the future", DeSantis said.

Gillum spokesman Kevin Cate stressed yesterday that the push to count every vote is about more than finding a path to the governor's mansion for Gillum. "This fight for Florida continues".

"Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist", Gillum said in response. Republican Rick Scott leads in that race.

Unofficial results showed Mr Nelson trailing Mr Scott by about 12,600 votes out of the 8.2 million or so cast - a difference of 0.15 percentage points.

"The ballots are in the building, " Snipes tells members of the canvassing board responsible for doing the hand recount. By law, any election result within 0.25 per cent would automatically trigger a manual recount.

Early on Saturday, Broward County's recount of 22,000 ballots cast in the race for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture saw a hiccup, as well, and came to an abrupt stop when officials noticed volunteers had mixed 47 manila envelopes from the Senate recount in with those to be hand counted for the commissioner race, Fox News reported.

While the tone read uncharacteristically kind, the grammar was decided past tense, serving as the latest and loudest of political assessments on the state of Florida's gubernatorial race. Many counties were spending Saturday doing a hand recount in another statewide race.

It was another snag for Snipes, who has already been under fire for the way her office has handled the election and recount.



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