‘It’s a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) For weeks, poll after poll showed Florida’s two most important elections falling easily into Democratic Party hands.
But on Wednesday morning, Floridians woke up to Republican victories in both the governor’s race and U.S. senate election — although the defeated senate candidate is calling for a recount.
The victories will take on added importance ahead of the 2020 presidential election, as Florida is by far the nation’s largest swing state.
“Every two years there’s one day in November where elites don’t call the shots, don’t craft the narrative or set the agenda,” Rep. Ron DeSantis told supporters Tuesday night in Orlando. “On Election Day, it’s the voice of the people that rules.”
An election eve Quinnipiac poll showed DeStantis’ Democratic challenger, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, was up 7 points. A CNN poll showed Gillum up 12 points last week. But Florida voters delivered for the Trump-aligned Republican.
“I think you are going to get tired of me calling you asking you for things for Florida,” DeSantis joked at his Orlando victory celebration.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott threw his hat in the senate ring to take on the 76-year-old three-term incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. Like Gillum, polls near unanimously showed Nelson cruising to a fourth six-year term. But again, Florida voters had other ideas.
Scott declared victory last night as the final election returns placed him ever so slightly ahead of Nelson. The self-made mega-millionaire choked up at one point during his victory speech.
“I had the most wonderful mom,” said Scott, who grew up poor and in public housing. “She never would believe that I’d be a governor or a U.S. senator.”
But Scott’s victory lap has proved premature. Nelson is now calling for a recount. Scott’s margin of victory is just 38,717 votes out of more than 8 million, or less than half of one percent.
Nelson’s campaign issued a statement Wednesday mid-morning chastising Scott for prematurely claiming victory.
A spokesman for the Scott campaign fired back, “This race is over. It’s a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career. He [Nelson] is desperately trying to hold onto something that no longer exists.”
Florida’s 67 counties now must recheck their tallies, and re-report their totals by process noon on November 10th. Nelson’s campaign is working with a high-powered Washington, D.C. law firm, and is already sending monitors to every county across the state, according to Politico.
DeSantis’ election margin was also razor thin, about 55,000 votes out of 8 million total. But Gillum, who’s campaign while under the cloud of an FBI investigation, conceded last night.
I sincerely regret that I couldn’t bring it home for you,” Gillum told supporters in Tallahassee, though he may as well have been talking to his deep-pocketed progressive backers.
The avowedly socialist Gillum was summoned to Berkeley, Calif. in May to meet with progressive activist billionaire George Soros. There, the two “cemented plans to turn out progressive and non-white voters,” reported Politico. Those plans, now in ruins, involved turning out support for Sen. Bill Nelson.
“Florida is the Holy Grail,” Gillum reportedly told Soros. Indeed, it is.