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 Nelson’s 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 Scott’s 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 couldn’t calculate how much money was generated by Smith’s 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 Nelson’s 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.