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Sen. Tina Smith asks for donations to help Democrat in Florida recount

November 17, 2018

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota is asking her supporters to chip in to help fellow Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson pay for the recount in Florida.

A hand recount began Friday in Nelsons re-election contest. Fewer than 13,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast separate him and Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Recounts are expensive, Smith said in a Tuesday e-mail. They require top lawyers, extra staff, and a strong voter protection program, she said, adding that Scotts campaign will do anything to win.

She asked people to donate at least $10 and included a link to Act Blue, a fundraising website. Its spokesman said the organization couldnt calculate how much money was generated by Smiths request.

Nelson also has asked for donations to a recount fund. So have 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who urged supporters to give $25 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a possible 2020 presidential candidate. Florida is usually a key battleground in presidential contests.

Minnesotans might recognize the name of Nelsons top lawyer in the Florida recount: Washington lawyer Marc Elias, who advised Democrat Al Franken during an eight-month legal battle over the recount in the 2008 U.S. Senate race here. Franken was eventually declared the winner by 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast.

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