It is with a heavy heart that I share news via a most senior Republican leader in the Florida House that one-time Speaker Designate Chris Dorworth will on Friday concede the race for House District 29 after a count of the provisional ballots found Dorworth further trailing his Democratic challenger Mike Clelland.
After Tuesday night, Dorworth was losing to Clelland by just 37 votes.
But by the end of Thursday night, that gap grew to over 123 votes.
Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel told the Orlando Sentinel that only a few votes remained uncounted, and that the small number was not enough to change the outcome.
With about 74,000 votes cast, a 123-vote margin still would trigger an automatic recount. State law requires such recounts when margins of victory are less than one-half of 1 percent.
Ertel said early Friday morning that his office has submitted the results to the Secretary of State’s office and set a meeting of his canvassing board in preparation of a recount for Sunday at 1 p.m.
However, sources close to Dorworth say the Lake Mary Republican is not eager to pursue what appears all but certain to be a futile effort.
This situation is fluid and developing, but for now, I know the senior source who told me of Dorworth’s decision would not have done so without fully understanding the gravity of the situation.