The latest on Speaker Designate Chris Dorworth's fight to win HD 29

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Speaker Chris Dorworth’s political career on life support, Seminole County elections officials will meet today to review provisional ballots that could sway the incredibly close contest for a Seminole County state House district.

Rep, Matt Gaetz, one of Dorworth’s allies in the Legislature, said Dorworth remains upbeat about his prospects. “He’s in good spirits,” said Gaetz.

The Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office estimates about 600 provisional ballots — contingency ballots filled out in situations such as when a voter is unable to prove his or her registration status at a polling station — have yet to be tabulated.

Those ballots will be reviewed this afternoon by the county’s canvassing board, which includes Seminole elections Supervisor Mike Ertel, County Judge John Woodard and Altamonte Springs attorney Gerald Rutberg.

Both sides retained lawyers ahead of the review and in preparation for a mandatory recount, which would be triggered if the margin remains within one-half of one percentage point. A machine recount would likely be conducted Sunday.

Will Weatherford would not discuss potential replacements Wednesday.

“First of all, I think it’s premature to try to have that conversation. I think we need to wait until all the votes are certified,” Weatherford said. “Secondly, no matter what happens, the Republican Party in the Florida House of Representatives is going to be fine. We’re all going to move forward.”

Material from Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel is used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.