Florida mid-terms: Democrat Andrew Gillum concedes to Ron DeSantis

Andrew Gillum speaks on Aug. 31 2018 in Orlando.                        Joe Raedle  Getty

Andrew Gillum speaks on Aug. 31 2018 in Orlando. Joe Raedle Getty

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee running for governor of Florida, on Saturday conceded the contentious race to his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis.

Gillum shared the news alongside his wife via a Facebook Live post.

Gillum had conceded the race on election night, but withdrew his concession when the vote count became close. But he still trailed DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes following a legally required machine recount. "This has been the journey of our lives".

In a statement from his campaign late Saturday, Gillum recalled how he had vowed earlier to "fight until the last vote is counted".

"I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida".

The Gillum-DeSantis race for Governor wasn't the only contest that went to a recount.

He called for updating the state's election system to "bring it into the 21st century", but gave little indication of his future plans, saying only to "stay tuned". Nonetheless, Gillum says he will remain politically active, adding "the fight for Florida continues". "He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future - a force to reckon with!"

Poor weather delays US space cargo launch to Friday
That same dismal weather forecast led mission managers to push the launch back another day. The unmanned Cygnus cargo craft will lift off from Wallops Island along the Eastern Shore.

DeSantis responded on Twitter, saying "This was a hard-fought campaign". 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.

Gillum participated in a handful of rallies, many anchored in churches, to support the recount effort, as flurries of lawsuits filed largely regarding the U.S. Senate race battled over deadlines for the recounts and some counties - including Palm Beach and Broward - struggled to meet deadlines to submit recounted ballot numbers in time.

Of the more than 8 million votes cast, DeSantis holds a 0.41 per cent lead.

Gillum was still trailing DeSantis by 33,683 votes, according to the official recount. Many counties were spending Saturday doing a hand recount in another statewide race.

State officials ordered a manual recount on Thursday after a machine recount showed less votes in the county than the total number of votes reported to the state on November 10.

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