DeSantis: No reaction to race he declared ‘over’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The campaign of Republican Ron DeSantis says it has no immediate response to Democrat Andrew Gillum’s concession in the Florida governor’s race but referred back to a statement Thursday in which DeSantis declared the contest “over.”

The earlier statement said the machine recount from the governor’s race was “clear and unambiguous” just as it was on Election Night and that “with the campaign now over,” DeSantis would be focusing to govern.

In that statement, DeSantis also said he was humbled by the support he received and called it a “great honor the people of Florida have shown me as I prepare to serve as your next governor.”

Gillum posted a live video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon congratulating DeSantis. Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount, DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes.

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6 p.m.

Democrat Andrew Gillum says in ending his bid for Florida governor that the race “has been the journey of our lives” for the candidate and his wife R. Jai.

Gillum posted a live video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon congratulating DeSantis. Gillum had conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes.

In a statement from his campaign late Saturday, Gillum recalled how he had vowed earlier to “fight until the last vote is counted.” He then adds that process has been gone its course and he wishes to congratulate DeSantis “on becoming the governor of the great state of Florida.”

Adds Gillum, “This fight for Florida continues and I just wanted to thank you all for being along with us for at least this part of the journey, but the journey continues.”

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5:15 p.m.

Democrat Andrew Gillum says he is ending his hard-fought race for Florida governor and has congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis.

Gillum posted a live video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon in which he congratulated DeSantis. Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes.

Gillum, who is Tallahassee’s mayor, isn’t saying what he plans to do next.

“Stay tuned,” he said in his brief remarks. Nonetheless, Gillum says he will remain politically active, adding “the fight for Florida continues.”

Gillum’s announcement came hours after President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Gillum will be a “strong Democrat warrior” and a “force to reckon with.”

There was no immediate response from DeSantis or his campaign.

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2:55 p.m.
A South Florida elections official says that her office has misplaced more than 2,000 ballots.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel posted video Saturday of Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes saying that 2,040 ballots had been “misfiled.” Snipes did insist that the ballots were still in the elections building.

Snipes has already been under fire for the way her office has handled the election and recount.

Counties across the state are in the middle of a hand recount for two statewide races including the race for U.S. Senate.

State officials ordered a manual recount on Thursday after a machine recount showed that Republican Gov. Rick Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race.

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11:50 a.m.

Officials say most of Florida’s counties have finished their hand recount in the state’s contentious U.S. Senate races.

State officials ordered a manual recount on Thursday after a machine recount showed that Republican Gov. Rick Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race.

At least 44 out of 67 counties have finished their hand recount in the Senate race. Many counties were spending Saturday doing a hand recount in another statewide race.

Counties have until noon on Sunday to report official results to the Department of State.

Several counties have posted hand recount updates on their websites. The totals for Nelson and Scott have changed slightly, but not significantly.