Florida election: Rick Scott wins Senate seat as Bill Nelson concedes after manual recount

'Let's get to work,' says Mr Scott after result is announced

Bernie Woodall
Sunday 18 November 2018 23:15
Comments
Rick Scott has won
Rick Scott has won

Republican Rick Scott has been declared the winner of Florida's hard-fought US Senate race, following a manual recount of ballots in the tight contest against three-term Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.

In the recount of the 6 November election, current Florida governor Mr Scott won by 10,033 votes out of 8.19 million cast statewide. Mr Scott took 50.05 per cent, compared with 49.93 per cent for Mr Nelson.

Mr Nelson, first elected to the Senate in 2000, became the latest incumbent Democratic senator toppled in the midterm congressional election in which President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate but lost control of the House of Representatives.

Other incumbent Democratic senators defeated in the election include Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Claire McCaskill in Missouri.

“I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service,” Scott said in an emailed statement.

The statement ended: “Let's get to work.”

Mr Trump tweeted his congratulations to Mr Scott in the wake of the announcement saying that he "never wavered".

Mr Nelson said that “things worked out a little differently than... I had hoped” in a video statement.

Mr Scott, who was prevented by state law from running for a third term as governor, emerged from the vote with a lead of less than 0.5 percentage points, which prompted a recount of the ballots. Republicans including Mr Trump made allegations, without offering evidence, that the process was marred by fraud.

The battle between Mr Nelson and Mr Scott and the race to replace Mr Scott as governor both were closely watched contests in which Democrats had hoped to topple Republicans. On Saturday, Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican rival Ron DeSantis, an ally of Mr Trump, in the governor's race, which also went to a recount.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Mr Scott, 65, entered politics from the business world, having amassed a personal fortune as a healthcare executive. He dipped into his wealth to help finance his campaigns, winning the governorship in 2010 and 2014 by about one per cent of the vote.

Mr Nelson, 76, has been a fixture in Florida politics since he won a seat in the state legislature in 1972. He then served in the US House of Representatives and has held state Cabinet posts.

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in