Mast fends off Democratic challenge to retain Florida House seat

Mast fends off Democratic challenge to retain Florida House seat
© Greg Nash

Rep. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastEthics panel upholds 0 mask fines against Greene, other GOP lawmakers 2021 marks deadliest year for manatees in Florida recorded history OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court rules that pipeline can seize land from New Jersey | Study: EPA underestimated methane emissions from oil and gas development | Kevin McCarthy sets up task forces on climate, other issues MORE (R) retained his South Florida seat in a race against lawyer Pam Keith (D).

Mast had 56 percent of the vote to Keith's 42 percent with 98 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

The victory earns a third term for Mast, who was first elected in 2016 in a competitive race to replace then-Rep. Patrick MurphyPatrick Erin MurphyEquilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Flaming shipwreck wreaks havoc on annual sea turtle migration The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Mast fends off Democratic challenge to retain Florida House seat MORE (D).

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Mast, a veteran who lost his legs while serving in the Army in Afghanistan, outspent his opponent in what became the third-most expensive race in the state.

Keith, a fellow veteran, had previously sought the Democratic nomination in 2018.

Mast's reelection became more precarious after comments he posted on Facebook years ago resurfaced that showed the candidate joking about rape and sex with 15-year-old girls.

“A decade ago when I was in the Army, and following my injury, I made disgusting and inappropriate jokes that I am embarrassed to have associated with my name today,” he said. “I am sorry about that part of who I was, and I strive every day to be a better example for my kids.”