Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis easily defeated former Democratic challenger Charlie Crist to win another term in office Tuesday.
Newsmax called the race as soon as all polls had closed in the state at 8 p.m. ET.
"Congratulations @RonDeSantisFL and @marcorubio on your amazing victories!" Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted.
Crist, himself a former Republican governor of the state, bolsters DeSantis' status as a GOP rising star with potential White House aspirations.
DeSantis has vastly out-fundraised Crist and performed better in polls in the lead-up to an election where he rarely mentioned his opponent by name and instead characterized the race as a fight against the "woke agenda" of liberals.
Crist, on the other hand, centered his campaign on DeSantis, framing the Republican as a bully fixated on angling toward the presidency at the expense of the everyday problems of Floridians. At the candidates' only debate, Crist repeatedly pressed the governor to commit to serving a full second term if elected. DeSantis skirted the question.
Former President Donald Trump in a Saturday rally for candiates in Pennsylvania called DeSantis "Ron DeSanctimonius" when reading out polling numbers for potential GOP 2024 candidates, but urged voters in a Florida rally the next day to reelect DeSantis. The current governor was notably absent from the rally for GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and others, however.
The victory for DeSantis will serve to advance speculation of a 2024 presidential run, a question DeSantis has so far dodged as former President Donald Trump has teased a third presidential run. Trump, who credits himself for propelling DeSantis to a first term in the governor's office, has grown frustrated with DeSantis' refusal to rule out a 2024 run, according to people familiar with Trump's thinking.
Crist, who served as a Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011 and resigned a congressional seat to run this year, has been forced to fend off barbs about various stances held over his decades in Florida politics.
The Associated Press contributed.
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