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Florida Senate Recount Ends as Bill Nelson Concedes to Republican Rick Scott

Republicans will win Sunshine State’s governorship and both Senate seats

Florida Gov. Rick Scott in the US Capitol

Florida Gov. Rick Scott arrives for a meeting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and new GOP senators at the Capitol in Washington.

J Scott Applewhite/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Nearly two weeks after the midterm elections, there are some final results from Florida’s Senate and governor’s races. After a hand recount, Republican Rick Scott maintained his lead by a narrow 10,000 votes, and his Democratic opponent, Senator Bill Nelson, will hold a press conference Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. to announce his concession.

Before making a public announcement, though, Nelson called his opponent. “I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service,” Scott said Sunday.

This will mark the end of Nelson’s career in elected office, 18 years after he first served in the Senate. With Scott’s victory, Florida will have two Republican Senators, Scott and Marco Rubio, for the first time in state history. Scott has been calling for Nelson to concede since Election Day and attended an orientation in Washington for new members of Congress last week.

The Senate race news comes the day after Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis in the state’s gubernatorial election, which also went to a recount. Gillum ended the race by posting a Facebook Live video with his wife, R. Jai. After thanking his supporters, Gillum said, “We said we will fight until the last vote is counted… Now that we are rounding that process out, R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida.”

“This was a hard-fought campaign. Now it’s time to bring Florida together,” DeSantis tweeted in response to Gillum’s concession.

Gillum also commented on Florida’s elections, saying, “We’re going to everything that we can to make sure that over the coming weeks and over the coming months that we do what we can to perfect our electoral system. We need to update Florida’s elections system and bring it into the 21st century.”

Florida’s recount has been plagued by outdated and overworked machinery and missing votes. As the New York Times reported on Saturday, nearly 3,000 votes vanished in the recount.

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