GOP picks new Fla. speaker designate

Rep. Steve Crisafulli will be new speaker-designate

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Republicans have wasted no time replacing Rep. Chris Dorworth as their choice for Florida House speaker in 2014-16.

They announced that Rep. Steve Crisafulli will be the new speaker-designate on Monday, immediately after a hand recount confirmed Dorworth's defeat at the polls.

Democratic lawyer and retired firefighter Mike Clelland wound up 146 votes ahead of Dorworth. Both District 29 candidates are from Lake Mary in central Florida.

Clelland had a slim 37-vote lead when regular ballots were counted Tuesday. That expanded to 123 votes after provisional ballots were counted Thursday, and then to 140 after a machine recount Sunday.

Dorworth last week wrote a farewell letter to fellow House Republicans, saying he did not expect the recounts to change the results.

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