WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Xinhua) Democratic Senator Bill Nelson on Sunday conceded to Republican challenger Rick Scott, current Florida governor, boosting Republican Senate majority to 52.
Scott led Nelson by some 10,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast after the state’s 67 counties completed machine and manual recounts at midday Sunday, according to local media.
“Well, things turned out a little differently than we had hoped,” Nelson tweeted Sunday. He served three terms in the US Senate while Scott is a two-term governor of the Sunshine state.
“I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service,” Scott said in a statement.
Election Day results showed Nelson trailed Scott by more than 56,000 votes. Scott’s lead narrowed to 12,603 votes after a statewide machine recount, which then triggered a hand recount under Florida’s law.
Scott’s razor-thin victory marks the first time in more than a century that Florida has two Republican senators in Washington DC, local media said.
One day earlier, Andrew Gillum, Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, officially conceded to his Republican rival Ron DeSantis after a vote recount showed a margin Gillum was unlikely to close.
Florida, the third most populous state in the United States, was widely seen as a key swing state during general elections.
A final Senate seat is scheduled to be decided in a Nov 27 runoff in southern state Mississippi.