‘Too close to call’: Recount expected in Democratic primary for U.S. House 20th District seat

Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness has 10 more votes than his leading opponent in the Democratic primary for Alcee Hasting's seat.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The ballot count continued on Wednesday afternoon in the Democrats’ special primary contest for the U.S. House District 20 seat.

Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, a real estate broker, and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, a lawyer and chief executive officer of Trinity Health Care Services, pushed above their nine opponents on Tuesday.

By early Wednesday morning, it was clear either one of them will be running against Republican Jason Mariner on Jan. 11.

“With it being so close, it’s really a toss-up,” said Joe Scott, Broward’s supervisor of elections. “It’s really too close to call at this point.”

A recount was highly likely. It was coming down to less than 10 votes. According to election officials, a .25% margin or less requires a hand recount, and a .5% to .26% margin an automatic machine recount.

“If the secretary orders it Thursday night we’ll be ready to rock on Friday morning,” Scott said referring to Laurel M. Lee, the state’s secretary of state.

The ballot count continued on Wednesday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale during the Democrats’ special primary contest to run against Republican Jason Mariner on Jan. 11.

Mariner, an entrepreneur who was born in Boston, is a convicted felon and recovering addict whose business ventures include AdSkinz, a marketing company, and RRN Media. The Republican — who has Roger Stone’s endorsement — is unlikely to win in a district with more than 60% of Democratic voters.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings represented the district from 1993 until his death of complications with pancreatic cancer on April 6. The winner of the Jan. 11 election will serve during the remainder of Hastings’ term. The next primary for the full term is on Aug. 23 and the general election is on Nov. 8, 2022.

The other nine Democratic candidates were Broward Commissioner Barbara Sharief, Florida Sen. Perry Thurston, Florida House Democratic Leader Bobby DuBose, Florida Rep. Omari Hardy, Elvin Dowling, Phil Jackson, Emmanuel Morel, and Dr. Imran Uddin Siddiqui.

Florida Congressional District 20 (Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)



Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D)
Dale Holness (D)
Barbara Sharief (D)
Perry Thurston Jr.(D)
Bobby DuBose (D)
Omari Hardy (D)
Priscilla Ann Taylor (D)
Elvin Dowling (D)
Emmanuel Morel (D)
Phil Jackson (D)
Imran Uddin Siddiqui (D)
100% of Precincts Reporting

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Noon report

After voters in Broward and Palm Beach counties casted their ballots on Tuesday, the Democratic primary race for Florida's 20th Congressional District was too close to call.

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.