Andrew Gillum continuing to watch votes 'very closely' even after conceding

Gubernatorial candidate says he'll continue to fight in post-election letter

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum speaks to supporters on the last day of early voting on November 04, 2018 in Miami, Florida.
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum speaks to supporters on the last day of early voting on November 04, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In a letter to his supporters, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum thanked those who stood behind him during his campaign and noted that he will be "watching very closely" as votes continue to be counted.

The message was sent Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Gillum conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis in the tight race. As of Thursday morning, DeSantis had 4,066,225 votes and Gillum was only slightly behind at 4,023,185.

Election officials have not yet announced if there will be a recount, which happens when the margin of victory for the winner and runner-up is equal to or less than .5 percent, according to Ballotpedia.org. If the margin of victory is equal to or less than .25 percent, the recount must be done by hand.

"This was a hard-fought race. We didn't get the outcome we hoped for last night -- but we know that over the course of the last 20 months, we have changed our state and country forever," Gillum wrote. "As the race tightens and votes continue to be counted, we are watching very closely to ensure that all Floridians have the opportunity to have their voices heard."

Gillum said that despite conceding, his goal to improve the state and well-being of Floridians remains the same and he won't stop fighting for progress.

"We still have to be willing to show up every single day and demand our seat at the table. I still believe and I still trust in the voters. I still believe that there are more of us that believe in what is common and what is decent," Gillum wrote.

In a follow-up email on Thursday, Gillum's campaign wrote that officials originally believed there were less ballots left to count on Tuesday night.

"On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount. Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted," the email read.

Gillum's camp also urged anyone with a provisional ballot to make sure their vote was counted by contacting their Supervisor of Elections by 5 p.m. Thursday. Floridians can also call the voter protection hotline at 833-868-4452. Click here to find your nearest Supervisor of Elections office.

The secretary of state will determine if a recount is needed after noon on Saturday once all the unofficial returns from county canvassing boards have been submitted. For more information about that process, click here.

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