Andrew Gillum Withdraws Concession In Florida Governor’s Race In Light Of Recount
Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum on Saturday withdrew his concession in Florida’s gubernatorial race in light of a recount for the close election.
Gillum, 39, had initially conceded defeat to his Republican opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis, on Tuesday when the midterm elections were held. However, the margin of votes separating the two candidates was at around 0.41 %, which by Florida state law triggers an automatic recount since it is under 0.5 %. Florida law also dictates that any margin of 0.25 % or less in a race means ballots must be recounted manually.
“Let me say clearly: I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote,” Gillum said at a news conference Saturday. “And I say this recognizing that my fate in this may or may not change.”
President Donald Trump — who endorsed DeSantis — and several Florida Republican politicians like Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio have tried to stop the recounts for close races in the state, accusing Democrats of attempting to sway the results in their favor. Meanwhile, Democrats have claimed GOP officials are simply vying to suppress unfavorable votes and certain types of ballots like provisional ballots. The Senate race between Scott and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is also facing a recount because the margin stands at around 0.15%. Certain Florida counties like liberal-leaning Broward County have proved problematic in terms of vote-tallying in recent elections.
Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they “found” many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. “The Broward Effect.” How come they never find Republican votes?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 10, 2018
Although concession speeches are not legally binding, they are considered a convention and sign of respect in the democratic process at the end of any election.
“We don’t get the opportunity to stop counting votes because we don’t like the direction in which the vote tally is headed,” Gillum said Saturday. “That is not democratic and certainly is not the American way. In America, we count every vote regardless of what the outcome may be.”