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Florida Governor Scott Wins US Senate Seat Following Recount


FILE - Florida Gov. Rick Scott gestures during a rally, Oct. 31, 2018, in Estero, Florida.
FILE - Florida Gov. Rick Scott gestures during a rally, Oct. 31, 2018, in Estero, Florida.

Republican Rick Scott has won Florida's U.S. Senate race, defeating incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson - ending two weeks of insults, lawsuits, charges, and counter-charges.

Scott says Nelson "graciously conceded" the election Sunday after a mandatory hand recount gave the Florida governor a 10,000 vote margin.

State election officials are expected to certify the results Tuesday.

President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to Scott, saying he waged a "courageous and successful campaign."

Nelson, the incumbent, will likely retire from politics. He held the U.S. Senate seat from Florida since 2000 after serving 12 years in the House of Representatives.

Scott led Nelson on election night by about 15,000 votes, triggering an automatic machine recount that was also inconclusive. This led to a second automatic recount, this time by hand.

In the meantime, both Democrats and Republicans filed number of lawsuits relating to the recounts, including one that said many ballots were not counted because the signatures did not exactly match the ones on file.

There were also problems involving electronic counting machines and one recount coming up 800 votes short of the original tally.

Trump accused Nelson and the Democrats of fraud and trying to steal the election.

Federal judge Mark Walker berated all sides last week, saying Florida's inability to decide elections has made the state a global "laughingstock."

He was no doubt thinking about the 2000 presidential election which had to be decided by the Supreme Court when a state-wide vote recount in Florida was turning into a mess of confusion.

Two other Florida contests have also been decided after recounts.

Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the race for governor to Republican Ron DeSantis Saturday. Gillum was trying to become Florida's first African-American governor.

Democrat Nikki Fried narrowly beat Republican Matt Caldwell in the battle for Florida state agriculture commissioner.

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