Florida Presidential Outcome Undecided, Chamber and Democrats Celebrate
Around the State
Florida won’t be called in the presidential contest until the sun is up for some time on Wednesday, but it won’t matter as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded the overall contest just before 1 a.m.
Florida’s business interests and Democrats are already celebrating their own victories.
Votes remain uncounted in South Florida and election officials sent counters home with President Obama holding a slim 49.95 percent to 49.2 percent edge over Romney in the Sunshine State.
"I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction,” Romney told supporters.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce noted that 111 of the 118 legislative candidates they backed have won, with 13 contests the most delicious as the defeated opponent was supported by trial lawyers, unions or environmental outfits.
“By backing candidates who support free-market solutions, Florida voters stood up for free enterprise and job creation that will create prosperity and opportunity for Florida,” Chamber president and CEO Mark Wilson stated in a release.
“Florida voters know that the solutions to Florida’s problems come from the private sector and voted for candidates who want government to get out of the way of businesses and job creation. The Florida Chamber and Florida voters backed candidates that are risk takers, entrepreneurs who are vital to our future. All across Florida, voters showed their support for American enterprise and economic freedom.”
Democrats are celebrating as they kept their one statewide elected official, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, and broke the GOP’s supermajority hold on the Florida House.
"It's great to be a Florida Democrat tonight,” declared Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith.
“We delivered Senator Bill Nelson a decisive victory, picked up at least three congressional seats, six state House and two state Senate seats and sent four Republican incumbents in the state Legislature packing. We fully expect, when all the votes are in, that Florida will have once again delivered the state for President Obama. Additionally, we are poised to gain even more seats in the state Legislature as five state House races – including that of future House Speaker Chris Dorworth – are too close to be called.
"Voters in Florida sent a clear message about their support for Senator Nelson's bipartisan leadership, provided a striking rebuke to the extremism of Governor Rick Scott and the Republicans in Tallahassee, and underscored that our party's message and policies of economic opportunity for middle-class families are resonating. Floridians have made it clear they are ready for a new direction from their elected leaders with policies aimed at strengthening middle-class families and ending the corruption and waste in state government."
Another victor may be advertisers.
Per campaign reports filed with the state Division of Elections, Florida House candidates collectively spent $16.2 million this year, with Senate candidates pumping out $23.5 million.
Committees and the state parties spent $194.19 million.
Reach Jim Turner at email@example.com or at (772) 215-9889.