Nelson concedes in bitterly-fought Florida Senate race

Nelson concedes in bitterly-fought Florida Senate race
© Screenshot

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonMcCaskill: 'Too many embarrassing uncles' in the Senate Bill Nelson uses farewell address to remind colleagues ‘no one person is above the law’ Coal supporter Manchin named top Dem on Senate Energy Committee MORE (D-Fla.) on Sunday conceded his Senate race against Florida Gov. Rick Scott, giving the Republican a victory in a contentious race drawn out by a recount and marred by allegations of fraud.

"I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service," Scott said in a statement.

"Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that’s where we need to leave it," he added. "We must do what Americans have always done: come together for the good of our state and our country."

ADVERTISEMENT

Scott, who attended meetings last week in Washington, D.C., with other newly elected senators, said he intends to focus on bringing change to the nation's capital.

In his own statement, Nelson urged his supporters to continue fighting for civil rights, for environmental policies that will protect Florida and for improvements to programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“And yes, I will continue to fight hard for what’s right, and I will also encourage others to seek common ground with their colleagues on the other side of the aisle," Nelson said.

"We have to move beyond a politics that aims not just to defeat but to destroy; where truth is treated as disposable, where falsehoods abound, and the free press is assaulted as the ‘enemy of the people,' " the senator added. "There’s been a gathering darkness in our politics in recent years. My hope today can be found in the words of John F. Kennedy, who said civility can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future."

Scott, a two-term governor, officially defeated Nelson on Sunday as a hand recount showed him leading by about 10,000 votes.

The hand recount was ordered after a machine recount showed the two candidates separated by only about 12,600 votes, or 0.15 points.

Scott, President TrumpDonald John TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law MORE and some other Republicans had floated unfounded claims in recent weeks that Democrats were attempting to "steal" the election, and that rampant voter fraud had taken place in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Florida law enforcement has said it has not found credible evidence of fraud during the state's elections last week.

Scott ignored a question in D.C. on Wednesday during a photo op with other freshman senators about his claims of voter fraud. He had filed multiple lawsuits targeting Broward and Palm Beach counties over their handling of ballots.

In his statement on Sunday, Nelson did not explicitly mention allegations of voter fraud in the race.

Updated at 3:26 p.m.