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Schumer predicts Nelson will 'continue being senator' if 'every vote counted'

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (N.Y.) on Wednesday predicted that incumbent Florida Democratic Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Florida Democrats mired in division, debt ahead of 2022 Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE will surpass GOP opponent Gov. Rick Scott’s nearly 15,000 vote lead if “every vote is counted" in the ongoing election recount.

"Bill Nelson is -- is strong as could be. He believes, I believe, he's won a majority of the votes, and as long as they're counted, he will continue being senator from Florida,” Schumer told reporters Wednesday morning shortly after his Democratic colleagues re-elected him to serve as the Senate Minority Leader.

The two candidates, who are still locked in a recount race in their home state more than a week after the midterm elections, both attended party votes in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Scott met with GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (Ky.) and five of his would-be incoming senate colleagues in the Capitol ahead of a closed-door Republican leadership election.

“[Senate Republicans are] excited about maintaining our majority and growing our majority. We're confident we're going to have 53 Republican senators to set the agenda next year,” McConnell told reporters moments after he was re-elected to serve as the GOP leader.

With Scott’s win and a likely win in Mississippi’s run-off election between incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) and Democrat Mike Espy, Senate Republicans would have a 53-seat majority in the upper chamber.

— Molly K. Hooper