Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson seeks recount in race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott

Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott smiles as he speaks to supporters at an election watch party, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Naples, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

— The Latest on Election Day in Florida (all times local):

10:40 a.m.

Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson says he’s getting ready for a recount in his race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Nelson’s campaign put out a statement on Wednesday saying the rece remains tight and Scott prematurely claimed victory. Under Florida law, there is an automatic recount if the margin is one-half of one percent or less. Scott leads Nelson by slightly more than 30,000 votes out of more than 8.1 million votes cast.

State officials will not officially order a recount until Saturday, when the first set of unofficial returns are due.

Scott spokesman Chris Hartline criticized Nelson for pushing for a recount, calling it a “sad way” for him to end his political career.


4:10 a.m.

The race for U.S. Senate in Florida between Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott is too close to call.

Scott’s lead in the Tuesday race is 38,717 votes out of more than 8 million cast — a margin of less than one half of 1 percent.

Under state law in Florida, a recount is mandatory if the winning candidate’s margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.

The Associated Press does not call any race that may proceed to a recount.

Scott earlier declared victory in the race. Nelson has not publicly conceded.


12:45 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is declaring victory in a hard-fought and expensive race for U.S. Senate.

Scott told supporters gathered in Naples that the election against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson had been “divisive and tough” but he vowed to change the direction of Washington, D.C.

The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Nelson did not publicly concede the race. Shortly after midnight, his chief of staff took the stage with about a dozen supporters still left and declared Scott the winner based on numerous news media reports. He said Nelson would make a statement later Wednesday and declined to take any questions.

The race for Senate pitted two heavyweights in Florida politics. Scott is a two-term governor who was urged to run by President Donald Trump.

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