The tumultuous 2018 mid-term election cycle in Florida is finally over, and both Republicans and Democrats did well, considering how the recount fiasco played out.
Republicans retained control of the governship, the cabinet, the state legislature, a few congressional House seats, and a second U.S. Senate seat
Democrats picked off a couple longstanding GOP-held congressional seats (expected) but were also able to win the agriculture commissioner position, when Nikki Fried defeated Rep. Matt Caldwell.
Never have Americans seen such a vote swing on election night. Ever.
Scott as up by 50K votes, only to see Broward’s Supervisor of Elections “find” some 75K+ votes not counted on election night.
We all know how that story played out, but unfortunately for Republicans, they lost the AG Commissioner seat.
Congratulations to @nikkifried on making history and becoming Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services! Thank you for being a such a strong advocate for gun violence prevention.
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) November 19, 2018
Rep. Caldwell conceded his unexpected loss to Fried, questioning all those miraculously found votes:
“As I have stated from the onset, I am uninterested in using legal loopholes to win an election. All I have ever expected since Election Day is a full and fair accounting of all legal votes cast, and then respecting the will of the voters. Unfortunately, as a result of the abject failures in Broward and Palm Beach, it has become clear that we may never gain an understanding of what transpired in the hours and days after polls closed, despite the exhaustive efforts of my legal team to get to the truth. To continue this legal challenge would likely require millions of dollars and months to complete without providing any more clarity.
“But even more so, the most impressive feature of our republic is the peaceful transfer of power. While history has vindicated that fraud was a serious part of the 1960 Presidential election, the Nation required closure and it would not be well served by prolonged and fractious litigation. The candidates set an example for our conduct and I believe the same is true about our State. Therefore, I will no longer be pursuing a challenge to the outcome of this race. Accordingly, I have called Nikki Fried and notified her of my decision to not pursue the matter any further and I have offered to assist her in any way I can as she takes the office of Commissioner.
“While I will not serve as Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, my campaign was not a loss. Every door knocked, every mile traveled, and every new hand shaken in every corner of the state, has emphasized the immediate and tangible needs of our state’s farmers, workers, small business owners, and consumers.
It remains to be seen if Fried will shed her very partisan campaign rhetoric after taking office. She may have to tone it down a bit considering that she will be surrounded by Republicans. Or, maybe Fried becomes that thorn in the side to Governor-elect DeSantis and the other Republicans in the cabinet.