Election Timeline: Ron DeSantis elected Fla. governor; Rick Scott declares victory in Senate race


Governor Rick Scott is declaring himself the winner of Florida's Senate race despite lack of concession by Sen. Bill Nelson.

Nelson is down 57,000 votes and 90,000 votes have not been recorded yet because of a poll mishap in South Florida.

WATCH: Rick Scott declares himself winner of Senate race

WATCH LIVE: Rick Scott addresses supporters

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla) addresses supporters after a razor-thin Senate race against longtime Sen. Bill Nelson. LIVE INTERACTIVE RESULTS: https://at.wftv.com/2Dq6KU0

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

UPDATE: 10:58 P.M.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has conceded to Republican opponent Ron DeSantis in what became a very tight race.

The Tallahassee mayor had sought to energize his party's voters as an unabashed liberal.
DeSantis had hoped to ride President Donald Trump's backing to victory.

In his concession speech, Gillum told supporters, "This was a difficult task and I am sorry I couldn't bring it home for you."

DeSantis was supported in the race by President Donald Trump.

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

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

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

WATCH: Governor-elect Ron DeSantis gives victory speech

WATCH LIVE: Ron DeSantis wins race for governor

Ron DeSantis speaks after narrowly winning the race for Florida governor. LIVE RESULTS: https://at.wftv.com/2Dq6KU0

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

WATCH: Andrew Gillum gives concession speech after losing governor's race

WATCH LIVE: Andrew Gillum speaks to crowd

Andrew Gillum concedes the Florida governor's race. LIVE FLORIDA RESULTS: https://at.wftv.com/2Dq6KU0

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

UPDATE: 10:11 P.M.

Former Orlando police Chief John Mina was declared the winner of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. 

UPDATE: 9:38 P.M.

Republican Ashley Moody declared winner of Florida Attorney General’s race.




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 she pointed out that Shaw had never prosecuted a case and that his first shouldn't be as attorney general. Moody is a fifth-generation Floridian.

She will take over the position held by Republican Pam Bondi, who was barred from seeking re-election because of term limits

UPDATE: 9:17 P.M.

An amendment to restore voting rights to non-violent felons after they have completed their sentence, including parole and probation, has passed. Amendment 4 does not apply to felons convicted of murder or sex crimes. There are about 1.5 million non-violent felons in Florida who have served their time, but have not had their rights restored.

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 a request with the governor and Cabinet. About 1.5 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 away the ability to judge each individually.

The measure was placed on the ballot by petition.

UPDATE: 9:06 P.M.

Florida voters have passed Amendment 13, which will effectively end greyhound racing in Florida by 2021. Tracks with other forms of gambling, including card rooms and slot machines could keep that, however, tracks will eventually no longer be allowed to hold dog races.

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 weekly from illness or injury among the state's 8,000 racing dogs.

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

The measure was placed on the ballot by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, a panel chosen by the governor, legislative leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice. The commission meets every 20 years.

Florida voters also approved a constitutional amendment measure limiting future casinos outside Indian reservations.

Amendment 3 says the only way casino gambling can be approved 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 measure were the Walt Disney Co. and the Seminole Tribe of Indians, which owns casinos in the Fort Lauderdale and Tampa areas.

UPDATE: 8:47 P.M.

Republican Ross Spano declared winner of U.S. House District 15 race.

UPDATE: 8:22 P.M.

The governor and Florida senate races were still too close to call by 8 p.m.

U.S. Senate Class I

   3,705 of 6,111 precincts - 61 percent
   Rick Scott, GOP 3,458,124 - 50 percent
   Bill Nelson, Dem (i) 3,445,619 - 50 percent

 3,687 of 6,111 precincts - 60 percent
   Ron DeSantis, GOP 3,439,951 - 50 percent
   Andrew Gillum, Dem 3,405,096 - 49 percent
   Darcy Richardson, RP 39,615 - 1 percent
   Kyle Gibson, NPA 20,079 - 0 percent
   Ryan Foley, NPA 12,191 - 0 percent
   Bruce Stanley, NPA 11,769 - 0 percent

UPDATE: 8:07 P.M.

Republican Michael Waltz has won the open Florida House seat, keeping the 6th District in GOP control.

Waltz defeated Democrat Nancy Soderberg on Tuesday to win the seat vacated by Republican Ron DeSantis, who resigned to run for Florida governor. The district includes the cities of Daytona Beach and Deltona.

Waltz has not sought elective office before. He runs a government contracting company and is a former Army Green Beret who served in Afghanistan. He also was 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.

UPDATE 7:36 P.M.

Democratic US Rep. Darren Soto wins 2nd term in Florida district representing Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Winter Haven.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy has been declared winner and was re-elected to U.S. House District 7.

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 worked as a national security specialist in the Defense Department. 
Miller served in the Florida House beginning in 2014 before running for Congress. He has also worked for several other Republican lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.


UPDATE 7:20 P.M.

Republican US Rep. Daniel Webster has won a 5th term in the Florida district representing Spring Hill and the Villages.

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.

Incumbent Republican US Rep. Bill Posey has scored a sixth term in Florida representing cities of Melbourne and Vero Beach.

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 focuses on economic justice and fair wages, health care as a human right, and guaranteed public education for all Floridians.

UPDATE 7:00 P.M.

Polls are now closed, but anyone who was in line before 7 p.m. and is still in line can still vote.

We are LIVE. right now ahead of our election special. We are breaking down the results that are to be coming in soon and explaining how we will give you the perspective no one else will tonight!

Posted by Jorge Estevez WFTV on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

UPDATE 6:04 P.M.

The Marion County Supervisor of Elections is reporting that the county has a record voter turnout for a gubernatorial election.

Brevard County has its highest voter turnout in 24 years.

UPDATE: 5:22 P.M.

There's about two hours left for most Floridians to cast their ballots. Polls close at 7 p.m.

UPDATE: 4:22 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.

There have been no reports of issues at polls in Central Florida.

UPDATE: 4:04 P.M.

Don't miss a moment of Election Day coverage. Channel 9 is on air with with the largest team of reporters.

Be the first to know:
Download the free WFTV News App for Election Night update


UPDATE: 2:10 P.M.

The Seminole County Supervisor of Election's Office is reporting that 39,522 voters have cast their ballots on Election Day so far, including 17,058 Republicans and 12,127 Democrats.

Combined with early voters and mail-in ballots, nearly 56 percent of the county has voted.

Meanwhile in Osceola County, 20,000 have cast ballots.

Marion County is reporting that 33 percent of ballots have been cast so far, which includes vote by mail, early voting and ballots cast on Election Day.

UPDATE: 1:38 P.M.

The Osceola County Supervisor of Elections office has set up "selfie-stations" at some polling stations.

Elections officials also want to remind voters that all mail ballots must be at the office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.


Voting hours are halfway through, and the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office is reporting that 49.65 percent of its registered voters have cast ballots so far in the midterm election.


UPDATE: 12:30 P.M.

Nearly 35,000 people have voted in Marion County today, averaging 5,112 votes cast an hour, according to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections.

When you tally in early voting numbers, the office said about 120,000 votes have been tallied, which adds up to 50 percent voter turnout so far.

>>> Download the WFTV app to be the first to know results on Election Day <<<

UPDATE: 12:10 P.M.

The Seminole County Supervisor of Election's Office is reporting that 30,945 voters have cast their ballots on Election Day so far.

Among them, 13,578 were Republicans and 9,443 were Democrats. All the numbers so far, including early voters, add up to 53 percent voter turnout with seven hours until polls close, the office said.


Have you noticed any problems at the polls? Let us know! Click here to submit a news tip.

UPDATE: 11:45 A.M.

Reporter Lauren Seabrook ran into former Orlando police chief John Mina waving signs at an Orange County precinct. He's running for Orange County Sheriff.

UPDATE: 11:15 A.M.

The Seminole County Supervisor of Election's Office is reporting that 26,726 voters have cast their ballots on Election Day so far.

>>> Download the WFTV app to be the first to know results on Election Day <<<

UPDATE: 10:15 A.M.

Reporter Field Sutton was on the scene when Florida Gubernatorial Andrew Gillum arrived at a church in Tallahassee to cast his vote on Election Day just after 10 a.m.


The Orange County Supervisor of Election's Office said that with 45 percent of its electorate already having cast their votes by 10 a.m. Tuesday, the county surpassed its turnout from both 2010 and 2014.

UPDATE: 9:45 A.M.

Do you know the rules about taking selfies at the polls? There are some guidelines you need to follow before you snap a photo. Read more about those here.

Osceola County has it's own "selfie stations" set up at polling places.

>>> Download the WFTV app to be the first to know results on Election Day <<<


One hour after polls opened, and the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections reports it has already seen more than 8,000 voters in line.


UPDATE: 7:15 A.M.

Fifteen minutes after polls opened, Reporter Jeff Levkulich said the line to vote is out the door at a Winter Springs polling place.


Reporter Myrt Price reports that a line is starting to form outside the Westside Community Center in Sanford as polls open.

>>> Download the WFTV app to be the first to know results on Election Day <<<

UPDATE: 6:20 A.M.

The first voter, 80-year-old Carrie Bell June, is inline at Westside Community Center in Sanford.


Poll workers are lining up to get to work at Central Florida polls. Voters can start casting ballots at 7 a.m.




UPDATE: 5:15 A.M.

Live coverage is underway on Channel 9. Reporters Myrt Price and Q McCray are on the scene at polling places in Central Florida.

Follow Meteorologist Brian Shields on Twitter for the latest forecasts for Election Day, and traffic reporter Raquel Asa for updates about accidents along your route to the polls.

WATCH: Tune in to live election coverage

UPDATE: 4:45 A.M.

Long lines are expected at the polls Tuesday when they open for Election Day at 7 a.m.

And political analysts said Hispanic voters could be a big reason why.

Analysts said two groups that could sway the election are the youth and the Latino vote.


Student Ernesto Rodriguez is Mexican-American, and he’s one of the Latino voters experts believe will show up to the polls in historic fashion Tuesday.

"I registered to vote but I haven't voted yet," Rodriguez said.

He said it’s particularly important for him to vote in this election because it’s the midterm.

According to the latest study by Hispanic Federation, Latino voters are expected to vote for candidates who are big on jobs and expanding health care. Both are hot topic issues for Rodriguez.

"As a college student, I'm looking for a candidate who is more focused on education and health care because a lot of college students don't have the best jobs," Rodriguez said.

According to polls, 72 percent of Hispanic voters also want immigration reform, and 64 percent want a candidate who will help rebuild Puerto Rico. Developing affordable housing is also a priority.

Rodriguez said he'll be ready to cast his ballot.

“I am on the fence about a lot of things. I just have to make sure I do my research before I get out and vote,” he said.

Across the state, this election has already set record for turnout before polls open on Election Day.

Election officials said 5.1 million people in Florida took advantage of voting early or by mail.

That is far more than the 3.2 million people who cast their votes early before the 2014 midterms.

The Florida Division of Elections said Democrats hold a very slight lead in the number of early votes.

Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News all day for live election coverage. And download the WFTV mobile to be the first to know what’s happening at the polls and when elections are called.

We are LIVE with results as they come in right NOW on Channel 9.

Coverage of every key race including:@KristenForFL being covered by @KenTyndallWFTV @RossSpano being covered by @CPutman_WFTV pic.twitter.com/jQ2oAITsWa

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The Associated Press contributed to this report