Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson will hold his Senate seat in Florida.
NBC News and the Associated Press have declared Bill Nelson the winner in his race against Republican opponent Rep. Connie Mack.
“”On behalf of Florida Democrats, I wish Senator Bill Nelson congratulations on his reelection,” said Florida Democratic Chair Rod Smith. “Sen. Nelson has and will continue to serve our state and country with the highest level of distinction. Throughout this campaign and his entire career in public service, Sen. Nelson has stood up for the values that make our state great. He is a true champion for middle class families and a passionate advocate for our state. He has delivered for the people of Florida, and tonight they have delivered him a decisive victory.”
Nelson, a well-established two-term senator, had long been a favorite to win re-election. He earned endorsements from the state’s top newspapers, and was able to capitalize on the GOP’s unpopular budget, which calls for sweeping reforms to Medicare and Medicaid — federal health care programs that are crucial to Florida’s large senior population.
The Florida Senate race was perhaps most notable for its lack of notoriety. In an election year when the state once again found itself at the center of presidential politics, and hot-button campaign issues — from housing to health care — were of particular interest to Florida’s population, the Senate race never captured national attention. The candidates held just one debate, and once the campaign began in earnest, Nelson opened up a wide lead and never looked back.
Mack chose to run for Senate — to follow in the footsteps of his father, former Sen. Connie Mack III — rather than seek re-election to the House.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.