Republicans win big in Florida, flipping long Democratic Miami-Dade
Gov. Ron DeSantis easily won re-election last night over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, the Associated Press reported, as Republicans made big gains across the state.
The big picture: Tuesday's election serves as further proof that solidly red Florida is past its days as a swing state.
- Last year, registered Republican voters in Florida surpassed Democrats for the first time in history and have been extending that lead since, the Miami Herald reports.
Zoom in: DeSantis won the formerly solid-blue Miami-Dade County, becoming the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the county since 2002.
- Miami-Dade was viewed as a bellwether that could signal a GOP landslide nationwide and provide rocket fuel for a potential DeSantis presidential campaign in 2024, Axios' Josh Kraushaar reports.
What else: Republicans swept the Florida Cabinet races, as Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis both fended off Democratic challengers on Tuesday.
- Republican Wilton Simpson won the race for agriculture commissioner after Democrat Nikki Fried vacated the seat to run for governor.
Statewide, Republicans won enough seats to give them a two-thirds supermajority in the State House and Florida Senate, according to the Miami Herald.
- All nine Republican candidates running in Miami-area state legislative races won on Tuesday.
What they're saying: At a victory party Tuesday evening, DeSantis called his victory a "win for the ages" and thanked the Democratic bastions of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties for supporting him over Crist.
- "We have rewritten the political map," he said.
In front of a small crowd at Crist's St. Petersburg election night party, the former governor and congressman congratulated DeSantis.
- "I'm at peace," he told the crowd.
Florida International University political science professor Eduardo Gamarra told Axios that DeSantis will view his win as a mandate from voters to keep pushing Florida farther to the right — especially with Republicans winning crucial races in the Florida Cabinet and state Legislature.
- Gamarra said DeSantis may use his new term in office as a campaign opportunity, proposing legislation that fires up the Republican base in Florida and nationwide.
- "He has everything to push ahead with his extreme agenda in Florida, I don't think he's going to relent at all," Gamarra said.
What's ahead: "I have only begun to fight," DeSantis said.
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