Rick Scott, Ron DeSantis certified as victors of Florida races after recounts

Florida on Tuesday certified the results of its elections, officially declaring Republican Rick Scott the winner of the state’s Senate race and Republican Ron DeSantis the victor of the governor’s contest after nearly two weeks of contentious recounts.

The results of the Nov. 6 election were certified by Florida’s Elections Canvassing Commission.

Official results turned in Sunday showed DeSantis defeating Democrat Andrew Gillum with a winning margin of 32,463 votes out of more than 8 million cast. The results showed Scott, Florida’s outgoing governor, defeating incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by 10,033 votes.

Nelson conceded to Scott on Sunday, tweeting that "things turned out a little differently than we had hoped, but I by no means feel defeated ... I’ve had the privilege of serving the people of Florida for most of my life. It’s been a rewarding journey and a very humbling experience. No one could be more blessed."

Scott, in turn, thanked Nelson for his years of service. Scott has now won narrow victories in three statewide races since 2010.

“Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that’s where we need to leave it,” Scott said. “We must do what Americans have always done: come together for the good of our state and our country.”


Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, conceded Saturday to DeSantis.

"I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida. My wife R. Jai and I could not be prouder of the way we ran this race," Gillum tweeted. "Most importantly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being part of this campaign. I wouldn’t be here without the support that was shown by millions of Floridians. I encourage y’all to keep fighting for what we believe in."


Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed.

In response to Gillum's concession, DeSantis tweeted: "This was a hard-fought campaign. Now it's time to bring Florida together."

By law, Florida’s Elections Canvassing Commission is made up of the governor and two of the three Cabinet members. But Scott said during the middle of the recount with Nelson that he won’t participate in the certification. Instead Republican Sen. Rob Bradley will serve along with Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who lost the Republican primary for governor to DeSantis.

The recounts were reminiscent of the 2000 presidential election, when Florida took more than five weeks to declare George W. Bush the victor over Vice President Al Gore by 537 votes. Florida became the laughingstock of the world during the chaotic recount that decided the presidency.

Florida again was under scrutiny, especially as elections officials in Palm Beach and Broward counties struggled to count the vote. Scott and President Trump suggested there was fraud in the largely Democratic counties, and several lawsuits were filed during the process.

Lawmakers have said they will look at election laws during the 2019 legislative session to avoid future problems.

Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty, Elizabeth Zwirz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.