Today has been a stomach churning election in the Sunshine State. With Republican candidate Ron DeSantis’ early election lead over Democrat candidate Andrew Gillum evaporating over the weekend, it became a neck-and-neck race with Democrats holding a .3% polling lead over Republicans for the gubernatorial seat as the voting booths opened this morning.
The race was so nail biting that MSNBC was caught throwing up a fake graphic showing a Democrat victory last night. Yes, on Monday night. The day before the elections.
All In host Chris Hayes told viewers. “Just want to say, earlier this hour, uh, we showed a graphic of the Florida gubernatorial race. May have caught your eye because our system had inadvertently populated some test numbers. Obviously, we do not yet have any vote totals here, the night before the election. That was a misfire. Don’t worry. I was pretty confused when I saw it up there, to see it myself.”
In the end, the real results are that Ron DeSantis won the governor’s race.
It was a close fight, pro-gun rights candidate Ron DeSantis won and Florida gun owners can breath a slight sigh of relief.
Sure, we still have anti-gun Republican Senate President, Bill Galvano, ruling the roost in the legislature. But at least he can’t collude with a would-have-been gun-grabbing governor had Andrew Gillum won. DeSantis stated that as governor, he would have vetoed Galvano’s gun control bill, SB 7026.
Businesses in Florida can also breath easy. Businesses like Kel-Tec, Serbu Firearms, Knights Armament, CORE Rifle Systems, Century Arms, Spikes’ Tactical, SCCY Firearms, I.O. Inc, FightLite Industries, and many more. Florida actually has more gun manufacturers than any other state except Texas. This after a surge of 346 percent in licenses for gun makers since 2009, fueled by the nation’s growing demand for firearms.
If Gillum had won, he’d have directed the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to make it a living hell for them to do business in the state. Plus his plan to raise corporate tax rates would have hurt the industry, including FFLs, as well. The new governor will also select three state supreme court justices. Bullet dodged.
As for Florida’s cabinet positions, Ashley Moody won the Attorney General’s seat.
Republican Ashley Moody won but she isn’t really a friend of gun owners. Still, she’ll no doubt be an improvement over Democrat Sean Shaw. Moody may not be our friend, but Shaw would have been our avowed enemy.
If Shaw had won, he would have pushed for more restrictions by using his office as a bully pulpit and would have directed state agencies to re-interpret existing laws (think Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey’s unilateral “assault weapons” ban).
We’ll need to keep Moody on a tight leash, though. She has a history of raising tens of thousands of dollars from registered Democrats and trial lawyers who have also given money to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Charlie Crist, and Alex Sink. Like we said, she’s no friend to gun owners. But she’s clearly the lesser of two evils.
For the Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Matt Caldwell won.
Republican Matt Caldwell won the day and is a good pick for the office of Agriculture Commissioner. He is so good, in fact, that he made the NRA’s Marion Hammer angry because he has been aggressive enough in defending gun rights that he was told to tone it down.
He will defend our concealed weapons permit system and won’t let it be corrupted as Democrat Nikke Fried would have.
Matt Caldwell will face a recount due to the election being so close and the fact that Nikki Fried has not conceded and is demanding one. Caldwell currently has a 0.16 percentage point lead on Fried.
Per the Florida Division of Elections, Caldwell is ahead by 12,398 votes.
Lastly, for the US Senate. Rick Scott won.
Now-former Republican Governor Rick Scott, who signed Florida’s gun control bill SB 7026 into law after Parkland unseated incumbent Nelson. His victory is something of a mixed bag. As a Republican he was rewarded for signing more gun control into law, but having him in the Senate should be another reliable vote for President Trump potential Supreme Court nominees.
Sen. Nelson is challenging the elections results and is demanding a recount. According to a number of news sources; Rick Scott’s lead narrowed slightly this morning to a total of 30,161 votes out of more than 8.1 million that were cast over the election. A margin of less than one half of 1 percent. Under state law makes a recount mandatory if the winning candidate’s margin is 0.5 percentage points or less.
The New York Times claims that Rick Scott only has a 34,537 lead.
While the Florida Division of Elections officially reports 30,176 lead.
No matter what, the lead is too small and even though Rick Scott while technically is the winner. He has not been able to officially claim as such since Bill Nelson has not conceded.