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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Campaign officials for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said they are monitoring what appears to be a closer race against Republican Ron DeSantis than it first appeared.
On Tuesday night, as votes were still being counted, Gillum trailed DeSantis by around 90,000 votes when he publicly conceded and called DeSantis to congratulate him.
By Thursday, with more votes tallied and while some discrepancies are sorted out, DeSantis’ lead has narrowed dramatically. At noon Thursday, DeSantis led by only about 43,000 votes, which is just outside, but very close to, the 0.5 percent gap that is needed to trigger a recount, per Florida law.
“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count,” Gillum's campaign said in a statement Thursday. “Since that time, it has become clear there are 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.”
Only Florida’s secretary of state can call for a recount, per state law.
DeSantis and his campaign have not yet commented on a potential recount in the governor's race. He and running mate Jeanette Nunez are scheduled for events in South Florida on Thursday afternoon.
DeSantis was supported in the race by President Donald Trump.
Gillum conceded Tuesday night before a crowd gathered on the campus of Florida A&M University. In his concession speech, Gillum told supporters, "This was a difficult task, and I am sorry I couldn't bring it home for you."
The Tallahassee mayor had sought to become the state's first black governor and the first Democrat to win the governor's race in more than 20 years.
The 39-year-old pulled off an upset when he won the Democratic primary in August.
Florida's race for U.S. Senate seems to be headed toward a recount. Republican Rick Scott leads longtime Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by only 22,000 votes as of Thursday afternoon, which is well within the 0.5 percent required to start a state-mandated recount.
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