Democrat Gillum concedes Florida governor's race, congratulates DeSantis

Florida: bitter US Senate race headed to a hand recount

US midterms: Bitter Florida Senate race headed to a hand recount

Democrat Andrew Gillum has admitted defeat to his Republican rival in the race to be named Florida's governor - for the second time.

Gillum, whose refrain had been "bring it home" as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park. In it he says: "We see you and we hear you, and your voices will continue to power us".

Gillum had conceded on Election Night to DeSantis when it appeared the Republican former congressman had won by a narrow, if insurmountable, margin. DeSantis' margin was above the 0.25 percentage points required for a manual recount, notes NPR. "He never gave up and never will", the president tweeted, before saying Mr Gillum would become a "strong Democrat warrior" in the future and "a force to reckon with".

Mr DeSantis, 40, said on Twitter, "This was a hard-fought campaign".

The Florida secretary of state reported 900 fewer votes than were tallied originally, and that number is expected to balloon by 2,000 more votes when results from Broward County are reported.

A hand recount in the Senate race does not review all votes that were cast. That means the contest for governor appeared all but over Thursday, with a machine recount showing DeSantis with a large enough advantage over Gillum to avoid a hand recount in that race.

Florida: bitter US Senate race headed to a hand recount
Broward County misplaced 2,040 ballots, Snipes says

"It is expected that as each set of results are due, the numbers will fluctuate some", Sarah W. Revell, a spokesperson for the Florida secretary of state told the Times.

That narrow margin triggered a hand recount of problematic ballots, such as those where a voter filled in bubbles next to the names of Nelson and Scott.

DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the August 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn't "monkey this up" by electing Gillum.

"Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist", Gillum said in response. Once that recount was complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount is ordered.

That recount has become the subject of an intense political battle, with Republicans, including Mr Trump, claiming without evidence that the process was marred by fraud.

'The ballots are in the building. His race against Rep. Ron DeSantis was one of the most closely watched in the country.

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