The Latest: Mucarsel-Powell is 1st Ecuador-born US House member

The Latest: Mucarsel-Powell is 1st Ecuador-born US House member

The Latest on Election Day in Florida (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who toppled GOP Rep Carlos Curbelo in South Florida's 26th congressional district, is the first Ecuador-born person to serve in the U.S. House.

A biographical website operated by the House of Historian's office shows that no other members have come from the South American country.

Mucarsel-Powell says she emigrated to the U.S. at age 14 with her mother and sisters, living in a one room Miami apartment. Her first job was at a donut shop and she worked her way through college to becoming an administrator at Florida International University and working for numerous non-profit organizations.

Now Mucarsel-Powell wants to represent a congressional district stretching from the suburbs south of Miami to Key West, including most of Everglades National Park.

The Cuban-American Curbelo has been seeking a third term in the House.

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10:40 a.m.

Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson says he's getting ready for a race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Nelson's campaign made a statement on Wednesday saying the rece is tight and Scott prematurely claimed victory. Under Florida law, there is an automatic recount if the margin is one-half of one percent or less. Scott leads Nelson by slightly more than 8 million votes out of more than 8.1 million votes cast.

State officials will not officially accept a recount until Saturday, when the first set of unofficial returns are due.

Scott spokesman Chris Hartline criticizes Nelson for pushing for a recount, calling it a "sad way" for him to end his political career.

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4:10 a.m.

The race for U.S. Senate in Florida between Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott is too close to call.

Scott's lead in the Tuesday race is 38,717 votes out of more than 8 million cast – a margin of less than one half of 1 percent.

Under state law in Florida, a recount is mandatory if the winning candidate's margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.

The Associated Press does not call any race that may proceed to a recount.

Scott earlier declared victory in the race. Nelson has not been conceded.

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12:45 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is declaring victory in a hard-fought and expensive race for U.S. Senate.

Scott told supporters gathered in Naples Sen. Bill Nelson had been "divisive and tough," but he said, "The direction of Washington, D.C.

The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Nelson did not publicly concede the race. Shortly after midnight, his chief of staff took the stage with a dozen supporters. He said Nelson would make a statement later Wednesday and declined to take any questions.

The race for senates pitted two heavyweights in Florida politics. Scott is a two-term governor who was urged to run by President Donald Trump.

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11:45 p.m.

Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis says he won the governor's race against the "political and media classes" who had been eager to write his political obituary.

In a victory speech Tuesday night, DeSantis called Election Day "the one day the elites do not call the shots … and they do not set the agenda."

DeSantis thanked President Donald Trump for his support.

The 40-year-old former U.S. congressman defeated Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a 39-year-old politician who pulled off an upset when he won the Democratic primary in August.

DeSantis promised to keep the state's taxes low and protect taxpayer dollars. He also promised to protect Florida's environment by stopping red tides and restoring the everglades.

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11:30 p.m.

Republican Ron DeSantis has been elected Florida governor, and keeping the seat in GOP control.

DeSantis was supported in the race by President Donald Trump.

Gillum conceded Tuesday night before a crowd on the campus of Florida's A & M University.

The Tallahassee mayor has come to the state's first black governor and the first Democrat to win the governor's race in more than 20 years.

Gillum said he was sorry "I could not bring home for you" but added, "I'm not going anywhere."

The 39-year-old pulled off on upset when he won the Democratic Primary in August.

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11:25 p.m.

Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis wants to keep his job in Florida's Cabinet.

Patronis defeated former Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring in Tuesday's election.

Hey was appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott to fill the remainder of Republican Jeff Atwater's term.

Atwater took a job at Florida Atlantic University.

The 46-year-old Patronis served eight years in the Florida Legislature before Scott appointed him to the state board that regulates utilities. His family owns a popular Panama City Beach restaurant.

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11:10 p.m.

Democrat Andrew Gillum has conceded Florida Governor's race to Republican Former US. Rep. Ron DeSantis. The Associated Press has not called the race.

The Tallahassee mayor has been seeking to energize his party's voters as an unabashed liberal.

DeSantis had hoped to ride President Donald Trump's backing to victory.

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11 p.m.

Florida voters have approved a sweeping measure.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 6. The measure includes victims and their families as a right to due process, speedy proceedings and to have their welfare considered. It also increases the mandatory retirement age for judges to 75 instead of 70.

Supporters said the measure gives crime victims equal rights with the accused.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other opponents said the measure was not needed. They said they want to interfere with a defendant's right to a fair trial.

The Florida Constitution Constitutional Commission, a panel on the ballot, the legislative leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice. The commission meets every 20 years.

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11 p.m.

Florida voters have rejected their home property taxes.

Voters on Tuesday rejected Amendment 1, which would have exempted homestead properties from paying non-school taxes on the portion of their homes valued at between $ 100,000 and $ 125,000. Most homeowners would have saved a few hundred dollars.

Many local governments have opposed the measure. The state estimates it would cost about $ 645 million next year.

The measure was placed on the ballot by the Legislature.

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10:45 p.m.

Florida voters have adopted a new state-of-the-art agency, setting out the Legislature's start date. Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 10, which requires the state to create an Office of Domestic Security and Counter-Terrorism and maintain a Department of Veterans Affairs, which already exists.

It also requires that in even-numbered years, the Legislature begin its annual session in January instead of March because of election season. Finally, it requires counties to sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, election supervisor and circuit court clerk.

Supporters said the measure was needed because all counties vote for all offices. They say it also protects veterans and residents.

Opponents argued that each constitutional amendment should only cover one issue.

The Florida Constitution Constitutional Commission, a panel on the ballot, the legislative leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice. The commission meets every 20 years.

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10:20 p.m.

Survivors of first responders and active-duty soldiers and harder to raise university fees.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 7, one of four measures taken together with unrelated items. Firefighters, paramedics, prison guards and other first responders killed in the line of duty. The state thus wants to pay a death benefit to the Florida families. military. In both cases, surviving children want to receive college tuition.

The measure also dictates that the university board does not have any super-majority votes from both the schools' board of trustees and the state's board of governors.

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9:50 p.m.

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has ousted GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo from a Florida home, switching it to the Democratic column.

Voters chose Mucarsel-Powell on Tuesday in the 26th District, which runs from Miami to Key West. Curbelo has represented the district since 2014. It has been trending more Democratic.

Mucarsel-Powell is originally from Ecuador. She sought to tie Cembelo to Donald Trump's policies as unpopular in the district. She is therefore stressed addressing gun violence with her father's shooting death.

Mucarsel-Powell has worked for a number of non-profit organizations in the Miami area and has previously worked unsuccessfully for the Florida Senate.

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9:45 p.m.

Republican Ashley Moody wants to be Florida's next attorney general.

Moody defeated Democratic state Sen. Sean Shaw in Tuesday's election. Moody is a former judge and federal prosecutor from the Tampa area.

During the campaign, Shaw had never prosecuted a case and that he first should not be attorney general. Moody is a fifth-generation Floridian. Pam Bondi, who was barred from seeking re-election because of term limits.

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9:45 p.m.

Florida voters have frozen the size of their tax exemptions and have not made a homestead exemption.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 2, which makes a permanent contribution to the assessed value of properties that are not homesteaded. The cap does not apply to school taxes.

The amendment has been heavily backed by the Florida Association of Realtors.

The measure was placed on the ballot by the Legislature.

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9:30 p.m.

Republican Ross Spano has won an open house seat in Florida, keeping it in the GOP column.

Spano defeated Democrat Kristen Carlson in the 15th District, which includes Lakeland and some of Tampa's eastern suburbs. The seat opened up when Republican incumbent Dennis Ross decided to retire.

Spano has served in the Florida House since 2012 and campaigned as a common-sense conservative who would push to make recent tax cuts permanent.

Carlson is an attorney who has worked as a prosecutor and therefore as a general counsel to the Florida Department of Citrus. Carlson said she wanted to work towards greater compromise in Congress.

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9:10 p.m.

Most Florida felons who have their sentences will be ready to vote again in future elections.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 4, which says that most felons will automatically have their voting rights restored when they complete their sentences or go on probation. The amendment exempts those convicted of sex offenses and murder.

Supporters said the state's current system was too onerous. It required felons to wait at least five years after completing their sentence before they could file with the governor and cabinet. About 1.4 million people are affected. Nearly all states allow felons to vote after completing their sentences.

Opponents argued that the measure treats all felons alike and takes the ability to judge each individually.

The measure was placed on the ballot by petition.

(This item has been edited to correct the number of affected felons to 1.4 million).

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9:10 p.m.

Florida voters have approved a measure that bans public officials from paid lobbying jobs for six years after they've completed service.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 12, which bars elected officials, agency heads, judges and others from lobbying for compensation for six years leaving office instead of the current two. They want to be allowed to communicate with their official duties. For example, a county commissioner could contact a legislator about transportation financing.

Proponents say it is to stop the "revolving door" of the elected officials who leave office and then go to work for the lobbying firm that once worked to persuade them.

Opponents say the six-year limit is too long and might dissuade good candidates from seeking office.

The Florida Constitution Constitutional Commission, a panel on the ballot, the legislative leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice. The commission meets every 20 years.

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9:10 p.m.

Florida voters have approved a measure that bans both offshore oil drilling and the use of electronic cigarettes in most enclosed workplaces.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 9, one of four measures taken together with unrelated items. The amendment bans drilling for oil or natural gas in the state's territorial waters. That has been a major concern of both environmentalists and tourism officials, who feared a spill could ruin beaches.

The measure also means the use of electronic cigarettes or vaping in workplaces. Other than child care, elder care or health care; stand-alone bars; designated hotel rooms; and tobacco and vape shops.

Opponents had argued that each constitutional amendment should only cover one issue. They are said to have been handled by the Legislature.

The Florida Constitution Constitutional Commission, a panel on the ballot, the legislative leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice. The commission meets every 20 years.

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9:10 p.m.

Florida voters have stripped the state's Legislature's power to authorize most casino gambling.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 3, which says the only way to gamble is through a statewide initiative placed on the ballot by citizen petition. Exceptions were made for casinos on Indian reservations.

Among those strongly backing the measures were the Walt Disney Co. and the Seminole Tribe of Indians, which owns casinos in the Fort Lauderdale and Tampa areas.

Opponents included some horse and dog track operators. They accused Disney and the Seminoles of not wanting competition for tourist dollars. They say the decision on casinos should be left to each county's voters.

The measure was placed on the ballot by petition.

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9:10 p.m.

Florida soon wants to ban ban greyhound racing.

The state's voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 13, which bans betting on greyhound race starting in 2021. The 11 tracks that still have the sport will allow you to get more profitable poker rooms, simulcast betting and, in South Florida, slot machines.

The sport remains in five other states, but may be too small to survive.

Proponents said racing is inherently cruel, pointing to the average of two deaths from illness or injury among the state's 8,000 racing dogs.

Opponents said the dogs are better than most pets and enjoy racing. They said the industry supports 3,000 jobs.

The Florida Constitution Constitutional Commission, a panel on the ballot, the legislative leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice. The commission meets every 20 years.

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9 p.m.

Miami voters have a David Beckham Major League Soccer complex run by retired star.

Beckham and his partners to skip competitive bidding and negotiating directly with the city on a 99-year lease to convert a 73-acre (30-hectare) golf course into the soccer complex.

Plans call for a 25,000-seat soccer stadium, a 58-acre (23-hectare) public park as well as a hotel, retail and office space.

In addition, Beckham and partner Jorge Mas would agree to spend about $ 35 million.

The team's official name is at Internacional de Futbol Miami, or Inter Miami.

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8:30 p.m.

GOP U.S. Pat. Rep. Brian Mast has been re-elected to the House from Florida.

Mast defeated Democrat Lauren Baer on Tuesday for a second term in the 18th District, which includes Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Jupiter.

Mast served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan as a bomb technician, losing both legs when a device explodes. He received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other commendations.

In Congress, Mast has generally supported President Donald Trump's policies and thus worked on veterans' issues.

Baer is an attorney who previously served as an adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and ex-U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

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8:30 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has won re-election to a ninth term in Congress from Florida.

Diaz-Balart defeated Democrat Mary Barzee Flores on Tuesday in Florida's 25th District, which includes western Miami suburbs and areas near Naples to the west.

The 56-year-old Cuban-American Republican campaigned for his position on the House Appropriations Committee, while most of them were out of controversy involving President Donald Trump.

Attorney and former judge Barzee Flores Diaz-Balart to Trump and the National Rifle Association. Barzee Flores was nominated for a federal judgeship by President Barack Obama, but she never got a Senate vote.

Diaz-Balart's brother Lincoln, Jose, is a network news anchor

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8:30 p.m.

Republican Michael Waltz has won the election at an open house seat in Florida, keeping the contested 6th District in the GOP column.

Waltz Defeated Democrat Nancy Soderberg Posted by Republican Ron DeSantis, who resigned to Florida governor. The district includes the cities of Daytona Beach and Deltona.

Waltz has not been elective office before. He runs a government contracting company and is a former Army Green Beret who served in Afghanistan. So what a foreign policy analyst under President George W. Bush. During his campaign, he stressed a goal of seeking compromise in Congress.

Soderberg runs a public service program at the University of North Florida and previously served on the National Security Council and United Nations under President Bill Clinton.

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8:30 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn has been re-elected to the Florida House.

Democrat Bob Rackleff, a Navy veteran and former Leon County commissioner.

Dunn is a surgeon and army veteran who founded a practice in Panama City with more than 400 employees.

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8:30 p.m.

GOP U.S. Pat. Rep. Francis Rooney has a second term in Florida.

Rooney defeated Democrat David Holden in the 19th congressional district, which includes the southwest Florida cities of Naples and Cape Coral.

Rooney had never held elected office until his 2016 victory for the House seat. He has operated Rooney Holdings Inc. for more than three decades in building and construction management, oil and gas, retail, and transportation.

Holden and his wife doing business in Naples.

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8:30 p.m.

Republican Greg Steube has won election to open US. House seat in Florida.

The former state legislator defeated Democrat Allen Ellison on Tuesday in the 17th congressional district. The district runs from the cities of Sebring and Okeechobee to the southwest Gulf coast.

Ellison is a community organizer involved in economic issues. He became a substitute Democratic candidate for the Winning Primary candidate, April Freeman, who spent six weeks before the General Election.

Steube is an attorney and army veteran.

The seat opened when Republican incumbent Tom Rooney retired earlier this year.

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8:30 p.m.

GOP U.S. Pat. Rep. Brian Mast has been re-elected to the House from Florida.

Mast defeated Democrat Lauren Baer on Tuesday for a second term in the 18th District, which includes Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Jupiter.

Mast served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan as a bomb technician, losing both legs when a device explodes. He received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other commendations.

In Congress, Mast has generally supported President Donald Trump's policies and thus worked on veterans' issues.

Baer is an attorney who previously served as an adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and ex-U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

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8:30 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan has been re-elected to a seventh term in Florida.

Buchanan defeated Democrat David Shapiro on Tuesday to keep his seat in the 16th District, which includes Sarasota and Bradenton.

Buchanan owned successful car dealerships and a business before running for Congress. He serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees taxes and entitlement programs as well as Social Security, and has championed streamlining the tax code.

Shapiro is an attorney who campaigned on improving health care, creating better jobs and protecting the environment. He criticized Buchanan repeatedly for the purchase of a house GOP tax bill.

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8:30 p.m.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has been re-elected to the House from Florida.

Gaetz defeated Democrat Jennifer Zimmerman on Tuesday in Florida's 1st District, which stretches from Pensacola across much of the western Florida panhandle. Zimmerman is a pediatrician who is originally from the Philippines.

Gaetz previously served as a representative in the Florida House. He is a strong supporter of Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association. Gaetz was first elected to Congress in 2016.

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8:30 p.m.

Four incumbent Democrats, Florida in the U.S. House have been re-elected without opposition.

Automatically qualifying in Tuesday's election to new two-year terms are Reps. Frederica Wilson of Miami-based District 24; Val Demings of Orlando-area District 10; Lois Frankel of Palm Beach County's District 21; and Kathy Castor of District 14, in the Tampa area.

None of the four had Republican, write-in or minor-party opponents.

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8:25 p.m.

Shaper U.S. Cabinet secretary Donna Shalala has been elected to a House seat in Florida, flipping into the Democratic column for the first time in decades.

Shalala defeated Republican Shaper television journalist Maria Elvira Salazar on Tuesday in the Miami area's 27th District. It's the first foray into 77-year-old Shalala, who was President Bill Clinton's secretary of Health and Human Services throughout the 1990s.

Shalala also was president of the University of Wisconsin and Miami and headed the Clinton Foundation from 2015-2017.

Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, but has trended Democratic in recent years.

Salazar is a 56-year-old Cuban-American. She was looking for capitalize on the district's strong Hispanic presence and cast Shalala as past her prime.

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8:25 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been re-elected to a House seat in Florida.

Wasserman Schultz was elected Tuesday to an eighth term Congress in the 23rd District, which includes several cities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

She defeated Republican candidate Joe Kaufman, a writer and researcher who specializes in national security and middle east policies. There were two independent candidates in the race, including Tim Canova, whom Wasserman Shultz defeated in 2016.

Wasserman Schultz is a former National Democratic Committee chairwoman and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. It has recently been published as a return address. The packages were sent to prominently Democrats, the news media and others.

A Florida has been charged in the bomb case.

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7:45 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy has a second term in the House from Florida.

Murphy defeated Republican Mike Miller on Tuesday in the 7th District, which includes downtown Orlando and suburbs such as Winter Park.

Murphy is part of several conservative Democratic organizations on Capitol Hill and says she is focused on job creation and better wages. She is a former educator at Rollins College and has worked as a national security specialist in the Defense Department.

Miller served in the Florida House in 2014 before running for Congress. He has worked for several other Republican lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

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7:45 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch has been re-elected to a fifth term in Florida.

English defeated Republican Nicolas Kimaz on Tuesday in the 22nd congressional district, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

He is an attorney and former state senator who has been active in gun-control issues since the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Kimaz is a business entrepreneur who also describes himself as a "holistic healer" on his campaign website.

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7:45 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto has a second term in Florida.

Soto defeated Republican challenger Wayne Liebnitzky in Tuesday's vote for the seat in the 9th congressional district, which includes the central Florida cities of Kissimmee, St. Cloud and Winter Haven. Liebnitzky so what the GOP nominee in 2016.

Soto is a former Florida state legislator who won his first race for Congress two years ago.

Liebnitzky is a Navy veteran, engineer and businessman.

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7:30 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. John Rutherford has been re-elected in Florida.

Voters on Tuesday handed Rutherford a second term representing the state's 4th congressional district, which is centered in the Jacksonville area. Rutherford defeated Democrat Ges Selmont and two independents to retain his seat.

Rutherford is a former Jacksonville sheriff who had a career as an officer with the department.

Selmont is an attorney who grew up in Connecticut and has lived in northeast Florida for nine years.

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7:30 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis has won re-election in Florida.

Bilirakis won a seventh term in the House in Tuesday's vote. He represents Florida's 12th congressional district, which includes the northern parts of the Tampa Bay area.

Bilirakis defeated Democrat Chris Hunter, a former federal prosecutor.

Bilirakis is an attorney and former state legislator whose father, Mike Bilirakis, served in Congress for 24 years.

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7:30 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has won a re-election in Florida.

George wins in the 13th congressional district, which includes the Tampa Bay cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

Crist is a former Republican Florida governor who has failed parties after an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. So Crist served in the Florida Legislature and as attorney general.

Buck is an Army veteran and former college professor who currently consults on emergency management and terrorism issues.

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7:30 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Al Lawson has been re-elected to Congress from Florida.

Lawson won a second term Tuesday representing the 5th District, which extends from Tallahassee to Jacksonville in north Florida.

Lawson is a longtime former state legislator and insurance agent. He defeated former Jacksonville mayor Alvin Brown at the Democratic primary in August.

On Tuesday, Lawson defeated Republican Virginia Fuller, a registered nurse and pediatric-care facility operator who moved to Florida about two decades ago after decades in California.

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7:30 p.m.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Posey has been re-elected to Congress from Florida.

Posey defeated Democratic challenger Sanjay Patel in Tuesday's election for a sixth term in the House. Posey represents Florida's 8th congressional district, which includes the cities of Melbourne and Vero Beach.

Before his election to Congress, Posey served in the Florida House and Senate. He is a longtime real estate agent.

Patel's website says he is a political activist who promotes good health and fair wages.

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7:30 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster has won a fifth term representing a congressional district in central Florida.

Voters on Tuesday handed Webster a victory in the 11th District, which includes the Cities of Spring Hill and the Villages, a massive retirement community of non-Florida residents.

Webster defeated Democratic challenger Dana Cottrell, a teacher in Hernando County.

Before he was elected to Congress, Webster served in the Florida Legislature for 28 years. He owns an air conditioning and heating business.

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7:30 p.m.

GOP Rep. Ted Yoho has been re-elected to the U.S. House from Florida.

Yoho defeated Democratic challenger Yvonne Hayes Hinson for a fourth term for Florida 3rd congressional district, which includes the cities of Gainesville and Ocala.

Yoho is an animal veterinarian and a small-business owner who sits on the House of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs committees. He never ran for public office before his first congressional campaign.

Hinson is a former Gainesville City Commission member, special education teacher and principal, and entrepreneur.

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6:45 p.m.

A line of thunderstorms is breaking the election-night celebration of Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum.

The Tallahassee mayor has decided to hold his election-night party outside the campus of Florida's A & M University. Both Gillum and his wife attended the historic black university.

The heavy rain caused by the storm forced the release of a news media because it collapsing due to the stream of rain pounding down on it.

Gillum supporters and reporters crammed into a student cafeteria as lightning flashed and the rain continued to pour down.

Those backing Gillum, however, remain upbeat and continued to chant Gillum's slogan "bring it home" as the thunderstorm continued.

Gillum is running against Republican Ron DeSantis in the race to succeed Gov. Rick Scott.

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5:20 p.m.

Do not vote for Democrats on Tuesday and sing Oh How I Love Jesus' on Sunday. "

Pasco County Elections Supervisor Brian Corley told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday he had received 75 complaints about the sign by midafternoon. He said the Grace of God Church in New Port Richey is about 100 feet (30 meters) away from the actual polling place.

The Rev. Al Carlisle said he posted the sign because of the Democratic Party's support of abortion and gay rights. He also said Democrats favor open borders, which he said contradicts God's establishment of borders around the Garden of Eden. He said if people are offended by the sign, their problem is with God, not him.

Corley said the church has long been a polling place but it will not be in the future.

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4:15 p.m.

Election officials say polling places in one north Florida county are having trouble with their electronic poll books.

Alachua County Supervisor of Elections spokesman T.J. Pyche says electronic poll books were having intermittent issues on Tuesday, but they weren't going down at an alarming rate.

Officials say all 62 polling places in the county have paper backups available, so any voter whose registration is up to date should be able to vote as normal, even if the precinct is having trouble with the electronic poll books. Anyone whose registration wasn't showing up properly needed to vote with a provisional ballot.

For about an hour in Sarasota County on Tuesday morning, workers at one precinct had to tell voters to come back later because their ballots were not available.

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11:55 a.m.

Republican former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and his wife Casey voted early Tuesday morning in Ponte Vedra Beach.

A small crowd of supporters chanted, "We want Ron!" He shook hands and thanked supporters before he and his wife, holding their children Madison and Mason, went into the polling place.

DeSantis faces challenger Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to replace Gov. Rick Scott, who is running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in a race that could help determine whether the U.S. Senate stays in Republican control.

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11:35 a.m.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and his wife R. Jai voted Tuesday morning at a church in the northside of the city. As he left the polling place, a crowd gathered outside chanting, "Bring it home!"

"I tried to look over to see what she was doing," Gillum said of his wife while holding their 1-year-old son Davis.

"I voted for you," she replied.

Gillum talked about how he tried to keep his campaign positive despite attacks from former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump.

He said that winning "will send a message to Mr. Trump, and Mr. DeSantis as well, that the politics of hatred of division and separation, that they've come to an end. At least in this election."

He added that "people are going out and they're voting for something and not against. And by voting for something we're returning to the politics of decency and what's right and what's common between all of us."

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11:25 a.m.

More than 5.2 million voters cast ballots ahead of Election Day in the battleground state, and records show that Democrats have a slight edge.

New statistics released Tuesday by the state Division of Elections show that more than 2.7 million people voted early, and nearly 2.5 million people have voted by mail.

Democrats have cast more than 2.1 million ballots. Republicans have cast 2.08 million. More than 973,000 voters with no party affiliation have also voted.

This year's totals far exceed those of 2014 midterms, but are still short of the 6.6 million who voted ahead of Election Day in 2016. In 2014, Republicans edged Democrats in votes cast before Election Day, while Democrats led two years ago in the presidential election. Despite the edge from Democrats in 2016, President Donald Trump won Florida due to a surge of GOP voters on Election Day.

Florida's more than 13 million registered voters are choosing a new governor and voting on a pivotal U.S. Senate contest.

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8:13 a.m.

Polls opened quietly at Miami Beach City Hall, where a short line of people waited to cast ballots.

Among the first in line Tuesday morning was Greg Freeman, who took a red-eye flight from the West Coast to make sure he could vote in his Miami Beach district on Election Day.

Freeman had a list of things that mattered to him as he cast a ballot in the gubernatorial race between former Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. He cited health care, the ability to tell the truth and human decency.

Freeman voted for Gillum. He said health care is a priority for him because of a pre-existing medical condition. He's already seen his insurance premiums sky-rocket and says he doesn't "want to be in a high-risk pool."

In Little Havana, 34-year-old Enrique Tarrio says he chose DeSantis because the businesses he owns have flourished under Republican Gov. Rick Scott. He says DeSantis is "picking up where Rick Scott left off."

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7:05 a.m.

Voters in Florida are electing a U.S. senator, a new governor and several new members of Congress while also deciding whether to approve 12 proposed changes to the state's constitution.

Polls opened Tuesday morning in Florida's Eastern time zone and will open one hour later in the western portion of the Florida Panhandle, which is in the Central time zone. Polls close at 7 p.m. local time.

The choice between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and three-term incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson could help determine whether the U.S. Senate stays in Republican control.

Many voters took advantage of early voting, which ended Sunday. As of Monday morning, Democrats had a slight advantage of 2.06 million to 2.04 million in votes cast by mail or at early-voting sites.

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