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As it happenedended1541583526

Florida election results: Rick Scott beats Bill Nelson for Senate seat as Andrew Gillum loses to Ron DeSantis for governor

Democrat Donna Shalala also beats Republican Maria Elvira Salazar to take House seat in 27th district

Clark Mindock
New York
,Kristin Hugo
Wednesday 07 November 2018 10:38 GMT
Donna Shalala stresses importance of community after flipping Florida House seat

Republican Ron DeSantis has beaten Democrat Andrew Gillum in the race to become the next governor of Florida, extending GOP control of that office which has remained unbroken since 1994.

Meanwhile, the current governor of the state, Republican Rick Scott, has beat Senator Bill Nelson in the race for US Senate. Mr Scott beat Mr Nelson narrowly after an expensive race that ranks as one of the most expensive in US electoral history.

Mr Gillum called Mr DeSantis to concede, but vowed to continue to fight for causes he believes in.

In down ballot races, Democrats flipped two House seats from Republicans, with Democrats Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala now set to become US representatives in January.

The Republican victory in the Florida Senate race reflects a broader trend for the GOP in that legislative body, as President Donald Trump’s party expanded its control there. The party flipped at last three seats from Democrats.

But, Democrats saw victories in ways that will hobble the president’s next two years in office, and gained control of the House of Representatives. Democrats will now yield power over congressional investigations, and will have the ability to re-open or expand investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and any connection that involvement may have had to Mr Trump’s campaign.

Democrats also saw important wins in governors races across the country, even if Mr Gillum was unable to flip control in Tallahassee. As election results poured in from across the country, Democrats picked up at least six governorships from Republican hands. That means that the party will control at least 21 governor's mansions. Republicans, with four seats left to be decided on Wednesday morning, had retained control of 25 seats.

To see how the evening unfolded please read our live blog below

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the gubernatorial race in Florida between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum. DeSantis is a close ally of president Donald Trump while Gillum, the progressive mayor of Tallahassee, is considered a rising star in his party.

Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 11:45
Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 11:46

Several major US cities are offering free public transport for election day, including in Houston and Dallas, both in Texas and Tampa, Florida.

Harry.Cockburn6 November 2018 12:34

Many believe the midterms will be a crucial verdict on Donald Trump's first two years in office. The race between Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum is one of 36 elections for state governors taking place today.

Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 13:04

The candidates have taken to Twitter urging supporters to vote as the election campaign comes to an end.

Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 13:31
Joe Sommerlad6 November 2018 14:50

Raul Raymond here writing for The Independent on the need for Latinos in the US to ensure their vote is counted today.

Joe Sommerlad6 November 2018 14:58

If you're wondering how to find your local polling station today, Google's got you covered

Joe Sommerlad6 November 2018 15:07

In the Florida Panhandle, the clean-up from Hurricane Michael continues to be a major issue on the minds of voters:

"My list today was just endless. We've got rain coming in the next four days, and I've got tarps on houses," landlady Sissy Karr told Reuters. "Are you kidding? I can't imagine taking the time to go vote."

Republicans are understood to be particularly concerned about turnout in the region where it has a healthy conservative support base.

A particularly wild hurricane season has brought climate change to the fore in the state’s gubernatorial debate – with Democrat Andrew

Gillum particularly vocal about the need for more eco-friendly practices.

Joe Sommerlad6 November 2018 16:01

Andrew Gillum - hated by Trump, endorsed by Rihanna - has cast his vote.

Joe Sommerlad6 November 2018 16:11

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