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Nelson: Scott should recuse himself

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) reacts to the Florida recount, saying that every legal ballot should be counted, and calling on his opponent, Florida Governor Rick Scott, to remove himself from the recount process.

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 4:19 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 4:19 PM

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that he will recuse himself from the process of certifying the election in which he is the Republican candidate for US Senate.

Scott wrote in a tweet that he recused himself "from certifying results on the Elections Canvassing Commission in 2014," and "will do so again this year."

"This is nothing new. Bill Nelson is confused and doesn't even know how Florida works- I have no role in supervising/ overseeing the ongoing recount process," the tweet continued.

The announcement comes amid a highly contested battle for the Senate seat of Nelson, the incumbent Democrat, with multiple lawsuits and a recount keeping the results of the election in limbo.

CNN has not projected a winner in the race, but Scott led Nelson by fewer than 13,000 votes in unofficial results before the recount started.

Nelson had called on Scott to recuse himself. Speaking on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Nelson said, "sadly, it has become clear that my opponent isn't interested in making sure that every lawful vote is counted."

"Instead, he's been using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process," Nelson said.

He later added: "It's become obvious that Mr. Scott cannot oversee the process in a fair and impartial way and he should remove himself from the recount process."

The League of Women Voters and Common Cause are asking for a restraining order to stop Scott from exercising any of his powers as governor in relation to the recount. They say he has demonstrated conflict of interest.

Attorneys for Scott told a federal judge Wednesday morning that Scott will recuse himself from the certification of the final election results in Florida. The comments came during the status hearing in the suit.

While the governor's lawyers said Scott will not sit on the elections board to try to certify the result, that's only a small part of what the plaintiffs are seeking. They want the governor to not have any influence on the election canvassing process or use his authority to suspend election supervisors.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the timing of Nelson's remarks on Capitol Hill.

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