Recounts Leave Financial Services Commission Makeup Uncertain
Several high profile races in Florida were decided, or at least appeared to have been decided, on election night by close margins. At the state level, Republican Ron DeSantis looked like the winner in Governor’s race, Republican Jimmy Patronis prevailed as Chief Financial Officer, Republican Ashley Moody won to succeed Pam Bondi as Attorney General, and Republican Matt Caldwell appeared to narrowly win the race for Commissioner of Agriculture.
Now approaching a week later, we appear to have certainty in two of the races while the other two are subject to varying degrees of review. Jimmy Patronis and Ashley Moody won their races with sufficient margins to remain confident they indeed will be members of the Cabinet (and Financial Services Commission) when the dust settles. However, the Governor’s race and the race for Commissioner of Agriculture are headed for recounts.
Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to DeSantis on election night, but the continued counting of votes eventually caused the margin between them to fall within the machine recount threshold. Although DeSantis continues to hold the edge in votes, Gillum is awaiting the results of the recount to see whether it changes the results from last Tuesday.
Things are more touch-and-go in the Commissioner of Agriculture’s race. Caldwell appeared to prevail on election night, but with a smaller margin than in most other races. As the counting continued, the margin not only narrowed but, at least according to some sources, began to tip in favor of Democrat Nikki Fried. The tight margin clearly is within the recount range, and the candidates continue to await the results of a race that ultimately will be decided by fractions of a percentage point either way.
Meanwhile, the race between outgoing Governor Rick Scott and incumbent U.S. Senator Bill Nelson for Nelson’s U.S. Senate seat also is subject to a recount. With three high profile races yet to be decided, the Florida recount process again has come into national focus and will mean Floridians have to wait a while longer to know the winners.