By Kevin Deutsch
Tamarac, get ready for a recount.
The Special Primary Election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings in District 20 is likely headed for machine and manual recounts in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, after the Nov. 2 vote tally showed Dale Holness with an unofficial 12-vote lead over Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick as of Thursday.
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.
The Democratic nominee will likely square off against Republican Jason Mariner, a first-time candidate who preliminary results show defeated Greg Musselwhite.
The Democrat is expected to secure an easy victory in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.
The slimmest of margins —just .024 percentage points —separate Holness and Cherfilus-McCormick’s unofficial vote totals. Any official margin under 0.5% would trigger a machine recount under state law, while a 0.25% margin would trigger a manual recount.
The recounts could happen in both counties as early as Friday.
The open congressional seat covers Tamarac, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Belle Glade.
The General Election is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022.
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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.
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