Bill Nelson concedes Florida Senate race to Rick Scott

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson on Sunday conceded the Florida Senate race to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, ending...

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 1:13 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 1:13 PM

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson on Sunday conceded the Florida Senate race to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, ending his re-election bid after the completion of a statewide recount.

Scott announced the concession in a statement, saying, "I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service."

Bill Nelson

Continents and regions

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Florida

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

North America

Political Figures - US

Politics

Rick Scott

Southeastern United States

The Americas

United States

US Congress

US Federal elections

US Senate

US Senate elections

2018 Parkland school shooting

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Donald Trump

Government bodies and offices

Governors

Heads of government

Homicide

Marketing and advertising

Mass murder

Murder

School violence

Shootings

Societal issues

Society

Violence in society

Nelson officially announced his concession in a taped statement on Sunday.

"I was not victorious in this race, but I still wish to strongly reaffirm the cause for which we fought, a public office is a public trust," he said.

Nelson added that he "by no measure feel(s) defeated" and reflected on his career in politics by saying he doesn't believe "anybody could have been as blessed."

The concession brings to conclusion a key Senate race that continued to be fought well after Election Day.

The Senate race -- along with the governor's and state's race for agriculture commissioner -- went to a machine recount a week ago, but the recount did not do nearly enough for Nelson and further formalized Scott's more than 12,000-vote lead. The contest still fell within the .25% standard for a manual recount of overvotes and undervotes, however.

Nelson conceded after the noon deadline for the manual recount, when all of Florida's 67 counties were required to submit their final vote totals to the secretary of state, meaning every vote deemed admissible by county canvassing boards and the courts had been officially counted.

The results of the recount showed Scott with a vote lead of 10,033 over incumbent Nelson. Before the completion of the manual recount, Scott had a lead of 12,603 votes.

Nelson's concession comes a day after Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum ended his campaign for governor by acknowledging that Republican Ron DeSantis had defeated him. The concession was a blow to Nelson, given the two top Democrats had figuratively stood together in calling for every legal vote cast in Florida to be counted. Gillum's bowing out was an acknowledgment that many Democrats in the state believe the fight is over.

Nelson acknowledged voting rights in his concession, an issue that was at the heart of both his and Gillum's messaging during the recount.

"We must end all forms of voter suppression, make it easier for Americans to vote and honor the idea that we are governed by the majority and not the minority," Nelson said.

Nelson's loss ends his nearly two-decade tenure in the Senate, where he most recently served as the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee and previously served as the chair of the Senate Aging Committee.

Nelson has been a fixture in Florida politics for more than four decades, serving as a member of the Florida House of Representatives for six years in the 1970s before vaulting to the US House of Representatives in 1979, where he served for 12 years.

Nelson faced an onslaught of spending in a race that likely topped $100 million just for ads on TV, according to data from CMAG.

And he was a top target for President Donald Trump, who considers Florida one of his home states because of Mar-a-Lago, the private club he has owned since 1985. Trump made a pair of last-minute trips to Florida to help Scott, rallying with the Republican governor and DeSantis in Fort Myers and then Pensacola during the final week of the campaign.

Scott, who is independently wealthy, raised an eye-popping $68 million this cycle, burying Nelson's $27 million.

But the Democratic outside money came in for Nelson after the primary, with Senate Majority PAC investing nearly $17 million, Priorities USA backing him with just over $8 million and Majority Forward spending another $5 million on Nelson's behalf.

Guns and the environment took an outsized role in this race. Both Scott and Nelson pointed fingers at each other over toxic algae blooms impacting the state's waterways, hoping to woo a group of single-issue environmental voters in the state. And guns have played a large role in the state after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.

But some of Nelson's most potent ads came in linking Scott to the President, attacks that put the governor on the defensive.

One Spanish-language ad for Nelson shows Scott shaking Trump's hand. Rick Scott and Donald Trump are "muy buenos amigos," the ad says -- very good friends.

The attacks seemingly worked, because Scott had to respond by distancing himself from the President.

"When I don't agree with what President Trump does or says, I've said it," Scott said in an ad. "My only commitment is with you."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96734

Reported Deaths: 2060
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27177931
Ramsey10985320
Dakota7585126
Anoka6182135
Stearns404524
Washington384155
Scott260333
Olmsted247328
Nobles197516
Blue Earth17146
Wright16647
St. Louis161841
Carver14297
Clay141140
Rice13438
Mower13365
Sherburne116114
Kandiyohi10262
Winona90618
Lyon7134
Waseca6898
Benton5583
Steele5532
Freeborn5444
Nicollet54217
Crow Wing53318
Watonwan5304
Chisago5071
Todd5022
McLeod4942
Le Sueur4724
Otter Tail4454
Beltrami4405
Martin42610
Goodhue3769
Itasca33914
Pine3360
Douglas3262
Polk3164
Isanti3071
Becker2802
Carlton2711
Morrison2642
Dodge2480
Pipestone23010
Cottonwood2270
Chippewa2191
Meeker2072
Wabasha2010
Brown1952
Sibley1953
Yellow Medicine1872
Cass1824
Unassigned18052
Rock1760
Murray1702
Redwood1703
Mille Lacs1653
Renville1568
Jackson1501
Faribault1460
Swift1421
Houston1270
Kanabec1268
Roseau1240
Fillmore1230
Koochiching1233
Pennington1201
Lincoln1150
Hubbard1111
Stevens1051
Pope980
Big Stone830
Aitkin811
Wadena690
Wilkin663
Grant624
Lac qui Parle601
Lake590
Marshall531
Norman530
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater280
Lake of the Woods231
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 86239

Reported Deaths: 1307
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15962262
Woodbury550964
Johnson514727
Black Hawk450090
Linn4078112
Story345317
Dubuque328341
Scott302028
Dallas279838
Pottawattamie214139
Buena Vista199212
Marshall179034
Sioux16463
Wapello133457
Webster127214
Plymouth115521
Clinton112421
Muscatine111155
Crawford10915
Cerro Gordo105821
Warren9656
Jasper84532
Des Moines7978
Marion7637
Henry7464
Tama73231
Carroll6745
Lee6397
Wright5921
Dickinson5286
Boone5118
Bremer4957
Washington46611
Louisa42915
Delaware4103
Mahaska41019
Floyd3523
Franklin35018
Jackson3503
Winneshiek3396
Lyon3324
Clay3284
Hamilton3273
Benton3241
Winnebago31513
Hardin3041
Poweshiek3048
Buchanan2851
Jones2763
Kossuth2740
Butler2712
Shelby2671
Clarke2663
Emmet26510
Allamakee2646
Clayton2613
Chickasaw2570
Sac2570
Cherokee2512
Cedar2501
Guthrie2456
Harrison2413
Fayette2272
Grundy2233
Madison2232
Iowa2131
Palo Alto2030
Mitchell1910
Howard1906
Humboldt1903
Hancock1882
Calhoun1853
Mills1811
Page1700
Cass1692
Osceola1680
Pocahontas1632
Monroe15911
Monona1571
Lucas1566
Appanoose1393
Jefferson1391
Union1373
Taylor1311
Davis1274
Fremont1220
Ida1221
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
Worth1080
Greene1010
Montgomery975
Wayne872
Audubon821
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold522
Adams330
Unassigned230
Rochester
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Mason City
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 44°
Albert Lea
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 42°
Much Cooler Week Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Monday

Image

Increase in permit to carry applications

Image

Elder Network aims to improves lives of seniors

Image

Olmsted County Public Health gives update

Image

Construction Class For Pine Island Students

Image

Premier Bank Collecting Donations

Image

School Meal Plans In Albert Lea

Image

Professor Reacts To Trump'

Image

Sean's Weather 9/28

Image

40,000 mail-in ballots sent out

Community Events