Republican Gov. Ron Desantis and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida defeated Democratic challengers to retain their positions, according to Reuters.
With just over 80% of the votes tallied in each race, Desantis lead former Republican Governor and Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist 58.3% to 41%, Reuters reported. Rubio held a similarly dominant lead, winning 56.8% of tallied votes to Democratic Rep. Val Demings’ 42.1%.
Desantis, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in 2018 is considering a presidential run of his own in 2024, NPR reported Tuesday. Desantis, who has sparred with the Biden administration over a range of issues from education to COVID-19 response, was praised by the president over his handling of Hurricane Ian, a move that potentially damaged his Democratic challenger, according to CNN.
Rubio’s victory was largely expected, and makes him the first three-term Republican senator in the state’s history following a campaign where he was massively outspent by his Democratic challenger, according to NBC News. Rubio, the state’s longest-serving Hispanic statewide elected official, is credited by analysts across the aisle for boosting the GOP’s performance with Hispanic voters, a crucial demographic in a state where the group is the fastest-growing demographic.
“The renaissance of Republican Latinos began in many ways with Marco Rubio,” said former political advisor to Trump, Susie Wiles, who managed succesful Republican campaigns for governor in 2010 with Rick Scott and 2018 with DeSantis, according to NBC News.
“Florida is a red state,” said MSNBC political commentator Joy Reid. “I think I’ve said this before.”
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