By Kevin Deutsch
Election officials oversaw manual and machine recounts in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Congressional District 20 seat Friday, with the margin of votes separating Dale Holness and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick remaining razor-thin.
The Florida Secretary of State ordered the recounts, which began at 3:30 p.m Friday and took several hours to complete.
A final result is not expected until Nov. 12, when ballots from military personnel and Americans living overseas are expected to be tallied.
The Nov. 2 Special Primary Election to elect a Congressional representative for portions of Broward and Palm Beach Counties drew more than 49,000 voters.
Cherfilus-McCormick, a lawyer and health care executive, spent millions of her own money on her campaign. At the same time, Holness, a Broward County commissioner, positioned himself as Hastings’ natural successor, claiming the late congressman endorsed him.
None of the nine other Democrats in the crowded primary field approached Cherfilus-McCormick or Holness’ vote totals.
As of Thursday night, Cherfilus-McCormick was leading Holness by three votes.
The Democratic nominee will likely square off against Republican Jason Mariner, a first-time candidate and recovering drug addict who preliminary results show defeated Greg Musselwhite.
The Democrat is expected to secure an easy victory in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.