MIAMI (AP) -- Florida's secretary of state said Thursday he doesn't think a recount in the Democratic gubernatorial primary will be needed and Bill McBride probably will be declared the winner over Janet Reno.
McBride was leading the former U.S. attorney general by less than 8,000 votes in an Associated Press count from Tuesday's primary. The spread would be enough to avoid an automatic recount in an election marred by voting disarray in Reno's South Florida stronghold.
When asked about media reports that it appears McBride will be the winner, Jim Smith said: "At this point it sure looks that way." Smith, a Republican who is the state's top election official, was expressing his opinion, but it has no legal weight.
Reno was meeting with advisers and attorneys Thursday to discuss her options, including demanding a recount or filing suit, but had not made any public statements. She was upset because of the possibility that thousands of voters were turned away at the polls by system malfunctions in her home turf in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
McBride had planned a news conference for Thursday morning -- ahead of the noon deadline for Florida's 67 counties to send their returns to the state Division of Elections -- but canceled it.
Robin Rorapaugh, McBride's campaign manager, said Thursday that she thinks a Reno challenge would be a distraction from the attempt to defeat Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.
"I think it would be horribly divisive," Rorapaugh said.
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