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Ausman’s latest tally: Clendenin, Tant tied

Posted Jan 18, 2013 by William March

Updated Jan 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Jon Ausman’s latest tally of committed votes in the race for chairman of the state Democratic Party shows Allison Tant of Tallahassee has closed the gap and reached a tie with Alan Clendenin of Tampa, with a large number of votes uncommitted.

Ausman, a veteran party activist from Tallahassee who specializes in number-crunching and analysis of party rules, is keeping a running count of endorsements by those who will vote in the chairman’s race—delegates to the state party executive committee from each of the various counties.

In the Jan. 26 election, one committeeman and one committeewoman from each of the 67 counties will cast weighted votes in the race, depending on the number of registered Democrats and past Democratic votes in their counties. Democratic elected officials will also get votes.

Ausman’s latest results: Clendenin 438, Tant 437 and 249 votes unknown, out of about 1,140 votes.

Ausman’s results probably aren’t definitive. The executive committee members may change their leanings at any time, and it’s not completely certain how many will actually vote. Tant supporters have said Ausman’s totals are biassed toward Clendenin.

But so far, they’re the only tangible indication of the state of the race.

Clendenin, who’s been in the race for months, started off well ahead of Tant, but she’s been gaining ground steadily, partly with the help of backing from the party’s top elected Democrats, Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, who’s also national Democratic Party chairman. They’ve been actively lobbying state executive members for Tant.