Republican Gov. Rick Scott is declaring victory again after the machine recount of last week’s U.S. Senate election appears to have increase his lead, and he called again on Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to succeed

Nelson of course is doing no such thing, as his campaign has been counting all along on the next required step, the upcoming hand recount of over and under votes, to be his best shot at overcoming a Scott lead.

The latest posted tabulations with the Florida Division of Elections shows Scott leading by 12,603 votes. That’s an incrase of 41 votes from the last pre-recount vote reported Sunday.

Nelson and his campaign have not commented on the latest recount tabulations, but have called a press conference for early Thursday evening.

While Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has not yet ordered a manual, hand recount of votes in the U.S. Senate race, it’s all but a certainty, given that the 13,427 margin still is well below the 0.25 percent difference in voting results that automatically triggers a hand recount.

At least one county, Palm Beach County, missed the 3 p.m. deadline for submitting the machine recount results. That could roll Palm Beach County’s official vote totals back to the pre-recount results. However, Nelson is suing in U.S. District Court for a waiver of that deadline.

Scott’s campaign has come to refer to him as Senator-elect, though no one but his campaign and its supporters has declared him a winner yet.

“Last week, Florida voters elected me as their next U.S. Senator and now the ballots have been counted twice. I am incredibly proud and humbled by the opportunity to serve Florida in Washington,” Scott declared in a statement released by his campaign after the machine recount deadline of 3 p.m. Thursday.

“Our state needs to move forward. We need to put this election behind us, and it is time for Bill Nelson to respect the will of the voters and graciously bring this process to an end rather than proceed with yet another count of the votes – which will yield the same result, and bring more embarrassment to the state that we both love and have served,” Scott added.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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