With only one precinct to go, former state representative Eleanor Sobel will likely win by a wide enough margin to avoid a recount in the bare-knuckle primary for one southeast Broward Senate seat.
Sobel, a Broward School Board member was facing two other former state represenatives -- Ken Gottlieb and Tim Ryan -- for the seat held by term-limited Senate Democratic Leader Steve Geller, who leaves Tallahassee this year after 20 years in the Legislature.
The closely watched race, which turned nasty in its final weeks, was expected to be close. And late Tuesday night, Sobel's lead over Gottlieb hovered around 100 votes, a less-than-1-percent margin that had some wondering about a recount.
But by Wednesday afternoon, that lead had widened to roughly 600 votes -- or a margin of about 3 percent -- taking her out of recount territory.
Under state law, an automatic recount is triggered if a legislative candidate wins by less than half a percentage point. And if the recount narrows that margin to less than 0.25 percent, there must be a manual recount of all undervotes and overvotes.
Sobel's apparent razor-thin victory over Gottlieb and Ryan was sent over the top when the Broward School Board member was able to poach some voters from her opponents' old legislative districts.
''I made some new friends in Plantation and Pembroke Pines,'' Sobel said.
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