TALLAHASSEE REPORTS — With a victory margin of a little more than a tenth of a percentage point out of 8.2 million votes cast, Gov. Rick Scott has won election to the U.S. Senate, ending the four-decade political career of Bill Nelson.
In the final vote tallies sent to the state Division of Elections on Sunday, Scott, a two-term Republican governor, held a 10,033-vote edge — or 0.12 percent — over Nelson, a Democrat who was seeking re-election to his fourth six-year term in the U.S. Senate.
The election went to an automatic machine recount when Scott failed to secure a lead of more than 0.5 percent in the initial count after the Nov. 6 election. The machine recount left the Republican with a 12,603-vote lead, or 0.15 percent, triggering the statewide manual recount that concluded at noon Sunday.
Scott’s lead was narrowed by 2,570 votes between the end of the machine recount on Thursday and the conclusion of the manual recount, but he has consistently held a lead since Election Day. The final results are expected to be certified when the state Elections Canvassing Commission meets Tuesday morning in Tallahassee.
Scott, who said Nelson “graciously conceded” in a phone call on Sunday, thanked Nelson “for his years of public service.”
While the voting recount process drew harsh accusations of fraud and political chicanery, numerous lawsuits and counter-lawsuits, Scott’s victory statement called for unity. read more