Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Buzz

on Florida Politics

Nikki Fried takes lead in Florida Agriculture Commissioner race

TALLAHASSEE — Nicole "Nikki" Fried may have a fighting chance at being the Democrat's last hope for a statewide seat.

The Fort Lauderdale attorney and lobbyist is leading Republican challenger Rep. Matt Caldwell by 2,841 votes as of Thursday evening, according to the Division of Elections. At the start of the day, she trailed Caldwell by about 4,000 votes.

It is almost certain that a manual recount is in store: the threshold is 0.25 points. But unofficial statewide results have to be reported to the state elections office before a recount can be officially ordered. The deadline for counties to report unofficial results is Saturday at noon.

On Wednesday and Thursday mornings, Fried put out calls for donations to her "emergency recount fund" to ensure a holistic recount of votes. She called out for volunteers to help monitor canvassing boards and phone bank for provisional ballots in key counties throughout the state.
In order for provisional ballots to count, voters must show proof of identification by 5 p.m. Thursday.

"Since the first returns came in on election night, we have said that seeing through this process to the end, ensuring every vote is counted so the voices of Floridians are heard, and their will is respected — is the top priority," Fried said Thursday. "As supervisors across our state work tirelessly to do just that, our support has grown and we are now leading by just under 600 votes — Florida supervisors and canvassing boards are doing an incredible job of ensuring everyone's voices are heard and the process is fair and transparent."

Fried added that her small lead will continue to grow.

"We're confident that by Saturday, when final results are certified, our lead will have grown, and the voters' choice in the race for agriculture commissioner will be clear," she said.

A win for Fried would be big for the Democratic party. The Republican party swept the rest of the seats Tuesday, in close races across the board. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis beat out former state senator Jeremy Ring by 3.72 points, and Republican candidate for attorney general Ashley Moody edged Sean Shaw by a hefty 6.25 points.

As of 9 a.m., Republican candidate for governor Ron DeSantis' lead over Andrew Gillum was just 42,948 votes out of 8,189,305 ballots cast — equal to 0.52 percent of the vote.

By 2 p.m., Gillum gained on DeSantis by another 4,441 votes, and now trails by only 0.47 percent. That means this race is now within the margin for a machine recount, too.

Comments
Will Gov. Rick Scott certify an election that he claims is fraudulent? He won’t say.

Will Gov. Rick Scott certify an election that he claims is fraudulent? He won’t say.

The Elections Canvassing Commission is set to meet Tuesday. Sen. Bill Nelson is saying he should recuse himself from it.
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Palm Beach County gets recount extension from judge

Palm Beach County gets recount extension from judge

The online docket suggests a Tallahassee judge entered an order Tuesday afternoon “suspending certain deadlines.” The judge, Karen Gievers, also allowed Sen. Bill Nelson, who is locked in a tight race for his Senate seat with Gov. Rick Scott , to intervene in the case.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick Scott’s campaign sues Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections

Rick Scott’s campaign sues Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections

The campaign is alleging that election observers were forced to watch recounts from another room.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Brenda Snipes says ‘it is time to move on’

Brenda Snipes says ‘it is time to move on’

Her current term runs through 2020.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Broward County elections chief Brenda Snipes talks about not running again

Broward County elections chief Brenda Snipes talks about not running again

In comments Tuesday, she tells reporters “it is time to move on” from the position she has held for 15 years.
Updated: 6 hours ago
FDLE commissioner to Pam Bondi: I’m ‘deeply troubled’ you think I wouldn’t investigate voter fraud

FDLE commissioner to Pam Bondi: I’m ‘deeply troubled’ you think I wouldn’t investigate voter fraud

Commissioner Rick Swearingen wrote a one-page reply to Bondi's Sunday letter criticizing him for not investigating Gov. Rick Scott's unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Updated: 7 hours ago
William March: Does Hattersley victory signal inroads for Democrats in east Hillsborough?

William March: Does Hattersley victory signal inroads for Democrats in east Hillsborough?

The district includes some of the same turf once represented by conservative firebrand Ronda Storms, who tried for a comeback this year but lost in a primary to Joe Wicker.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Broward has started recounting its ballots. Can it make the Thursday deadline?

Broward has started recounting its ballots. Can it make the Thursday deadline?

The elections operations coordinator has confidence.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Pop quiz: How to tell if a Florida vote should count

Pop quiz: How to tell if a Florida vote should count

Take a look at the state guidelines for determining meaning in under and over votes
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida recount timeline: How did we get here?

Florida recount timeline: How did we get here?

A week after Election Day, three statewide races remain undecided and in a historical recount. Follow this unprecedented political story from the beginning.
Updated: 8 hours ago