FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Sunday morning all early votes cast in St. Lucie County will be recounted, Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker confirmed to WPTV NewsChannel 5 on Saturday.
The decision was welcomed news for two politicians whose careers hang in the balance.
“West for Congress is pleased with the Supervisor’s decision, as the counting of early votes on Election Night was of great concern to our campaign, given the large shift that occurred at midnight of nearly 4,000 votes,” according to a statement released Saturday afternoon by the office of Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West. “While we still look forward to reviewing the poll books used to check in voters during early voting and Election day, this recount goes a long way to ensuring an accurate outcome.”
West, a freshman congressman, was seeking reelection in the newly formed District 18 against Democrat Patrick Murphy. He contested election results in both St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County.
District 18 spans portions of Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties.
Linda Hudson, mayoral candidate for the city of Ft. Pierce, also was happy to hear the recount would take place on Sunday.
“The supervisor (of elections) told me that there may have been 1136 votes not counted,” Hudson said.
Hudson’s opponent, Vince Gaskin, was leading by 21 votes on Friday. The margin was so small that it triggered an automatic recount.
Florida election law has an automatic recount trigger if the margin is within 0.5 percent of the votes.
According to the Palm Beach Post, results of the final but unofficial vote tally completed by Palm Beach County on Saturday, placed Murphy ahead of West by 2,429 votes.
Murphy received 166,799 votes to West’s 164,370 in District 18, according to the Post.
The gap between the two men does not trigger an official recount under Florida election law. However, that could change, depending on the results of the recount in St. Lucie County.
The St .Lucie County recount will start at 7 a.m.