Nikki Fried now has more votes than Matt Caldwell for Florida agriculture commissioner

Fort Lauderdale attorney in close race with former state lawmaker

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Florida's Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner has now overtaken her Republican opponent.

The Florida Division of Elections website shows that Nikki Fried has nearly 600 more votes than Matt Caldwell as of Thursday afternoon.

If that number holds, it's enough to trigger a state-mandated recount of the votes from all 67 Florida counties.

State law requires a recount if a race is closer than 0.5 percent.

"We really are a swing state and we are in margins of error that are going to cause potential recounts in the entire state, which is something that we haven't seen since 2000," Fried told Local 10 News. "So, I believe the demographics in our state are constantly changing. And that means the candidates need to step up and be able to talk to the voters, make them believe in something and believe in the message, and that's what's going to carry over on Election Day." 

Fried is a Fort Lauderdale attorney and proponent of medical marijuana.

Caldwell, who is from North Fort Myers, served eight years in the Florida House.

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