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.
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.
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)
(301 / 301)