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The Latest: Democrat leads Florida ag commissioner race

nikki fried.JPG
Posted at 2:45 PM, Nov 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-18 09:52:27-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on Florida's election recount (all times local):

2 p.m. 

Florida's official vote count shows a Democrat appears to have narrowly won the race for state agriculture commissioner.

Results posted Sunday show after a recount Nikki Fried defeated Republican Matt Caldwell by 6,753 votes out of 8 million cast. That's about one vote out of every 2,000 cast.

If the results are certified Tuesday, Fried will replace Republican Adam Putnam in January. He was barred from seeking a third term and ran unsuccessfully for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The agriculture commissioner also oversees consumer services and runs the concealed weapons permit program.

Fried would replace apparently ousted U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson as the only Florida Democrat holding statewide office. The governor, the other two Cabinet positions and both senators will be Republicans.

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1:10 p.m.

Florida's recount is over and Republican Gov. Rick Scott leads incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in the state's contentious Senate race by more than 10,000 votes.

Official results posted by the state on Sunday showed Scott ahead of Nelson following legally required hand and machine recounts. State officials will certify the final totals Tuesday.

The results show that Scott is poised to end Nelson's lengthy political career. The three-term incumbent was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. Nelson has scheduled an announcement later Sunday afternoon.

Scott spent more than $60 million of his own money on ads that portrayed Nelson as out-of-touch and ineffective. Nelson responded by questioning Scott's ethics and saying he would be under the sway of President Donald Trump.

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Noon

Florida counties have hit the deadline for submitting official results in this year's contentious midterm elections.

Counties had until noon on Sunday to finish up recounts and turn final totals in closely watched races for U.S. Senate and governor.

State election officials were expected to announce the totals later Sunday, and will officially certify the results on Tuesday.

The deadline comes a day after Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the governor's race to Republican Ron DeSantis. Previous totals showed Gillum trailing DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes.

Counties were legally required to do a machine recount after the initial results showed the race for governor and U.S. Senate very close. State officials then ordered a hand recount earlier in the week

8:07 a.m.

Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida's young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor's office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state's first black nominee for the post.

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 his four-minute plus video, Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: "stay tuned."

Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)