CNN | 11/14/2018 | Español | Listen

Nelson calls for recount in Florida Senate race

Updated 5:57 PM ET, Wed November 7, 2018

Washington (CNN) - Florida Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson called Wednesday for a recount in his race for re-election against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

In a statement from Nelson's office, the longtime incumbent said Scott had prematurely declared victory in the race, which CNN has not yet called.

In Florida, an automatic recount is triggered when the final margin is less than .5% and is not triggered by candidate requests. Votes were still being counted Wednesday morning, but Scott's lead was within that margin, according to CNN projections. The initial vote count won't be finalized until Saturday at noon.

A spokesman for Scott chided Nelson over the request.

"This race is over. It's a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career," Chris Hartline said in a statement. "He is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists."

Nelson's statement said his campaign intends to have "observers in all 67 counties watching for any irregularities, mistakes or unusual partisan activities."

The race between Scott and Nelson, a three-term incumbent, was one of the nation's most expensive and closely watched Senate contests. Republicans on Tuesday night expanded their Senate majority, though several Senate races remain too close to call.


© 2018 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Listen to CNN (low-bandwidth usage)

Go to the full CNN experience