Republican Ron DeSantis, a former U.S. Representative backed by President Donald Trump, will be Florida's next governor, earning 49 percent of the vote on election night.
DeSantis narrowly beat Tallahasee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the state's top race. Gillum delivered a concession speech shortly before 11 p.m.
As governor, DeSantis has said he aims to stop illegal immigration, sign anti-abortion legislation into law, accelerate small business growth, restore the Everglades and improve classroom spending in order to retain and recruit teachers, among other things.
DeSantis addressed his supporters at a watch party in Orlando on Tuesday after winning the election.
During his five years as a member of Congress, DeSantis sponsored 40 bills, including one to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and he was a member of the Freedom Caucus alongside some of the House's most conservative Republicans.
During his acceptance speech, Gillum thanked his wife and Trump for their support.
"My most significant and valued supporter is standing right next to me, despite what the media might say," DeSantis said of his wife Casey. The couple has two young children under 2 years old.
In Gillum's concession speech, he spoke about calling DeSantis and congratulating him on the win. He also said he intends to stay involved in Florida politics.
“I can guarantee you this, I’m not going anywhere," Gillum said. "We’re going to fight, we’re going to keep fighting, we’re going to keep believing.”
Had Gillum won, he would have been the first black governor of Florida. Gillum's campaign promises included reforming the criminal justice system, developing "common sense solutions" to curbing gun violence and pushing for legislation to ensure wage equality.
DeSantis called Gillum a formidable opponent.
DeSantis will take office on Jan. 8, 2019.
“Other than serving in the military, becoming the 46th governor of the great state of Florida is the greatest professional honor of my life," DeSantis said.
The governor-elect said he will "fight the good fight" and hopes to work with people on both sides of the aisle no matter who they supported.
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