A recount was underway Friday in the too close to call Democratic primary for a South Florida congressional seat left open when Democratic U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings died.
The Florida Secretary of State ordered a machine recount, which began around 9:30 a.m. in Broward and Palm Beach. A manual recount began Friday afternoon.
Updated vote totals showed health care company CEO Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick leading former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness by just five votes.
There are still five ballots outstanding, including a few from members of the military. Holness would need all five in his favor to tie Cherfilus-McCormick.
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On Thursday, Holness had been leading by eight votes in the district that stretches from Miramar north into Palm Beach County.
Businessman Jason Mariner won the Republican primary, but he is considered a longshot to win the general election in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.
Hastings was first elected in 1992. The other nine Democrats on the ballot were state House Democratic Leader Bobby DuBose, state Rep. Omari Hardy, state Sen. Perry Thurston, Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief, author and former National Urban League chief of staff Elvin Dowling, retired Navy petty officer Phil Jackson, business consulting firm founder Emmanuel Morel and physician Dr. Imran Uddin Siddiqui.
Turnout was about 16%. The district is more than 61% Democratic and about 13% Republican. In the 2020 election, Hastings earned 78.7% of the vote to defeat Republican Greg Musselwhite, whom Mariner defeated in this year’s primary.
The district is nearly 54% Black. Every Democrat on the ballot is a person of color, while the two Republicans are white.