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Gillum opens door to recount in Florida

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s (D) campaign said Thursday that it was open to the possibility of asking for a recount as elections officials continue to count late ballots in the hard-fought race to become Florida’s next governor.

Gillum conceded defeat to former Rep. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisPress: CPAC vote was no big win for Trump DeSantis approval ticks upward in new poll Trump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run MORE (R) on Tuesday night. The most recent results show DeSantis leading Gillum by about 43,000 votes, or 0.6 percentage points.

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But Democrats, led by 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’s (D) campaign, are waiting on what they say are tens of thousands of ballots left to be counted or reviewed in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Gillum spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement Thursday that the campaign was paying close attention to the late counts.

“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount,” Cervone said in a statement.

As of Thursday morning, Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott (R) were separated by roughly 22,000 votes in the Senate race — about 0.26 points. In Florida, a machine recount is automatically triggered if the candidates are within 0.5 points of one another, while a hand recount is required if the margin is 0.25 points or less.

Nelson has not conceded defeat and has hired Marc Elias, the prominent Democratic lawyer behind several previous recount battles, to handle any potential state-run review. Elias told reporters he is confident that Nelson could make up his deficit to Scott.

“I’m confident that Sen. Nelson and the Democrats are going to do well in terms of vote share in the days to come, because when, at the end of the day, all eligible have their votes counted and counted accurately, the fundamental truth that we’re going to learn is that more voters voted for Sen. Nelson than Gov. Scott,” Elias told reporters on a conference call.

Elias pointed to Broward County, where more voters cast ballots for down-ballot offices than in the Senate race. Elias said those undervotes for a top-of-the-ticket race were unusual.

He said he believes a hand recount will show that a number of ballots initially scanned by machines were not read properly due to stray markings or calibration issues and that Nelson will likely gain votes from those ballots.

Scott's campaign blasted Nelson's team on Thursday while accusing them of trying to "steal" the election.

"It is sad and embarrassing that Bill Nelson would resort to these low tactics after the voters have clearly spoken," Scott's campaign said in a statement.