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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 MastTapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote Republican war veteran gives Guard troops a tour of the Capitol LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to impeach Trump after Capitol insurrection 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 MurphyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Mast fends off Democratic challenge to retain Florida House seat Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Indian reservation 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.”