voice for democracy

Every vote counts: FL-20 Congressional primary came down to 5 votes. The winner will make history – Palm Beach Post

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick has claimed victory by just five votes in the Democratic primary to replace the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings representing South Florida’s 20th Congressional District.
The district includes majority-Black parts of both Palm Beach and Broward counties, and was drawn in the 1990s in hopes it would send a Black candidate to Congress. 
Both counties completed their tabulation of overseas and military ballots in the race for Florida’s District 20 congressional seat and found no additional votes for Cherfilus-McCormick or her recount challenger, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, The Palm Beach Post reported Friday. 
Cherfilus-McCormick announced her apparent win late Friday. 
“I want to thank the residents of Palm Beach and Broward County for their diligence, support, and patience during this recount, we won this together,” Cherfilus-McCormick said in a statement from her campaign.
State law dictated a recount in the special primary because the margin between Holness and Cherfilus-McCormick, a home health care business owner and attorney, was smaller than .5%.
“The electoral process is the bedrock of our democracy, and while long, it was necessary to ensure the integrity of every vote to strengthen the public’s trust in the democratic process,” Cherfilus-McCormick said. 
Recount details:Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick apparent winner of Democratic primary by 5 votes
Early coverage:Large field of candidates campaigning to succeed Hastings in Congress
GOP:Florida GOP Dist 20 winner, Jason Mariner, did not follow process to hold office after jail
Following the machine and manual recount found no additional votes, Cherfilus-McCormick received 3,863 votes in Palm Beach County and 7,798 in Broward County.
After legal challenges brought by her team in favor of tossing out a ballot, Cherfilus-McCormick received one additional vote for a total of 11,662. 
Holness received 1,014 votes in Palm Beach County and 10,643 in Broward County for a total of 11,657. 
That means just five votes separated the two candidates. More than 49,000 people voted in the race in the state’s most Democratic-leaning district. Holness had not publicly addressed the apparent election results as of Saturday morning. 
Cherfilus-McCormick will take on Republican Jason Mariner in a special election Jan. 11. Mariner, a political newcomer, won the GOP primary.
District 20 is heavily Democratic, giving Cherfilus-McCormick a huge advantage. 
Cherfilus-McCormick would be the first Haitian-American in Congress. Following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in July, she called for the United States to provide more support to the island nation in hopes of a peaceful power transition. 
“The assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, adds another layer onto Haiti’s already chronic instability,” she said.
Cherfilus-McCormick, who has family members living in Haiti, said she was praying for the “Haitian people who have faced so many hurdles in their quest for democracy and irreversible progress.”
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