Looks Like the Florida Senate Race Is Over

Rick Scott says Bill Nelson has 'graciously conceded'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2018 1:23 PM CST
Updated Nov 18, 2018 1:39 PM CST
Looks Like the Florida Senate Race Is Over
In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, file photo Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is joined by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Sen. Bill Nelson conceded a bitterly fought Florida Senate race Sunday after a recount showed him trailing Gov. Rick Scott by more than 10,000 votes, CNN reports. "I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of service," says Scott, a Republican. Florida counties had until noon to file official results with the state following a weeklong machine and hand recount that had triggered allegations of fraud and several lawsuits, per the AP. State officials will certify official results on Tuesday. The defeat of Nelson, 76, brings an end to a now-bygone era in Florida. Nelson had been a Democratic survivor as the GOP ascended into power, hewing to a more moderate tone even as newcomers such as Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum tried to push the party in a more liberal direction.

Scott charged into the race last April at the urging of President Donald Trump and spent more than $60 million of his own money on a series of ads that hammered Nelson as out-of-touch and ineffective. The campaign waged between the two men was more about character, competence, and their loyalty to Trump even though Scott was placed on the defensive about his record on the environment and health care. The weeks leading up to the election were bitter, and it remained that way after it became clear that the race between Nelson and Scott would head to a legally required recount. Scott held a press conference at the governor's mansion suggesting that fraud may be going on in several Democratic-controlled counties. (Read about Scott's lawsuit in the Florida race.)

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