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Leon County Commission Race May Be Headed Toward A Recount

[From left to right] Leon County Commission Candidates Rick Minor,  Emily Fritz, Kyle Frost, and Carlos Rey, with the exception of Rex Rekstis [missing from photo], appeared Tuesday on WFSU’s Perspectives show.
Lydell Rawls

To win a nonpartisan seat during Leon County primaries, one candidate must get a majority – or, 50 percent plus one vote. But a local county commission race may be headed toward a recount.

In Leon County, elections like schoolboard and county commission are nonpartisan. Therefore, a candidate that receives a number of votes totaling 50 percent plus one wins the race. If no candidate reaches that threshold, the top two candidates enter a run-off election in November.

Following last night’s primary election, Rick Minor holds 50.43 percent of the vote for Leon County commission district three.

According to the 50 plus one rule, Minor should be the winner of this race.

But Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley says the Florida Department of State has recommended a recount, provided Minor’s current margin doesn’t change. Per state law, an automatic recount is triggered when a candidate is defeated or eliminated by one half percent or less.

Earley contends since Minor’s victory is less than 50.5 percent, it’s in the margin for a recount.

Minor says he’s willing to cooperate.

“I have confidence in the Supervisor of Elections’ office," says Minor. "And I think that within the threshold if there’s a recount that’s called for, we should do one. I have confidence in the SOE’s office and think that the results will be the same.”

The next closest candidate, Emily Fritz, came in just over 17 points behind. Fritz says she's monitoring the situation and weighing her options.

With some votes still to be counted, and less than 70 votes separating him from winning the seat and heading to a runoff in November, the outcome could prove significant.

Shawn Mulcahy is a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU. He graduated from Florida State University in 2019 with majors in public relations and political science. He was previously an intern at WFSU, and worked as an Account Coordinator at RB Oppenheim Associates.