Would-be Florida House speaker expects to lose

Chris Doworth sends email saying 'voters have spoken'

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Chris Dorworth.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Would-be House Speaker Chris Dorworth says he expects to lose his close race for re-election after a recount.

The Lake Mary Republican said "the voters have spoken" in a letter emailed to his GOP House colleagues Friday.

He trailed Democratic Mike Clelland, a political newcomer, in the central Florida district by 123 votes.

Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel said that 370 provisional ballots counted late Thursday increased Clelland's lead from 37 votes. A recount is expected to be conducted Sunday.

Dorworth had been in line to become speaker in two years, following Rep. Will Weatherford, a Wesley Chapel Republican. Weatherford will assume the speakership on Nov. 20 when lawmakers hold their biennial reorganization session.

Dorworth's departure would create a scramble among Republicans to replace him as speaker-designate.

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