As the 2018 midterm election results began to be tallied on Tuesday night, it was clear that the Florida gubernatorial race between Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis was going to be very close. By 11:00 p.m, Gillum was trailing and made the decision to concede the election. According to The New York Times, he said:
‘We could not be prouder of the way we ran this race. We recognize that we didn’t win this tonight.
However, new vote totals came rolling in from Broward and Palm Beach counties on Thursday and Friday, which put the race in recount territory. On Saturday, during a press conference in Tallahassee, Gillum retracted his concession, saying:
‘I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromising and unapologetic call that we count every single vote. And I say this recognizing that my fate in this may or may not change.’
According to The Washington Examiner:
‘Desantis has a 33,684-vote lead over Gillum according to the latest unofficial count Saturday. Because the margin between the two candidates was within the half-point margin that triggers an automatic machine recount, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered a recount for the governor race, as well as recounts for the close governor and agricultural commissioner races.’
It didn’t take long before Mr. Trump and Governor Rick Scott (R) to claim that there was voter fraud in some counties. Gillum responded to those claims with:
‘What’s embarrassing to democracy is not counting every vote — and you, of course. Count every vote.’
Gillum blasted Trump, Governor Rick Scott, and Senator Marco Rubio (R) for their criticisms of the recount effort. He said:
‘I also have to say what has also changed since election night have been the chorus of voices from the president of the United States, the junior senator of the state of Florida and the governor of the state of Florida, a chorus calling for the ending of the counting in this process.
‘Now, what is their excuse for that? The best I can tell, I’m not sure. What I do know is that we don’t just get the opportunity to stop counting votes because we don’t like the direction in which the vote tally is headed. That is not democratic and that is certainly not the American way. In America, we count every vote regardless of what the outcome may mean.’
Gillum’s attorney, Barry Richard, who also represented former President George W. Bush during the 2000 election, dismissed the comparisons of that situation to the current one. Richard said:
‘This is not 2000. This is vastly, vastly different.’
A machine recount is being conducted, and the machine results are due on Thursday while hand recount tallies are due by Sunday, November 18. More than 8 million votes were cast in the state of Florida.
In addition, the Florida Senate race between Republican Governor Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson (D) is also being recounted. On Saturday, it was confirmed that Gov. Rick Scott was leading his opponent Senator Bill Nelson by 12,562 votes.
Here’s what Twitter had to say to Gillum:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube