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TALLAHASSEE – Florida's historic statewide election deadlock shifted to the courts on multiple fronts Thursday as Democrats and Sen. Bill Nelson intensified efforts to expand the pool of votes and the amount of time needed to recount them.
Democrats won some legal battles and lost some, but they need to win consistently if Nelson is to close his gap with Republican Gov. Rick Scott in their race for the U.S. Senate. Scott's advantage increased by 41 votes, to 12,603 votes.
Much of the legal combat took place in the expansive fifth-floor courtroom in Tallahassee of U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, a bow-tied, sharp-tongued jurist who's in charge of at least seven election-related lawsuits.