Desantis not only won in Osceola County, which typically goes to Democratic candidates, the heavily “blue counties of Miami-Dade also supported DeSantis, along with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who also dominated his opponent, former Orlando Police Chief, Congressman Val Demings. Demings, who many say was on President Biden’s short-list when deciding on a running mate for his successful presidential run, outspent Rubio during the campaign by millions.
DeSantis spoke to an excited crowd at the Tampa Convention Center Tuesday night, not far from his Pinellas home, once the returns showed that he would continue as Florida’s governor .
“We took the hits, and we weathered the storm, but we stood our ground. We did not back down. We had the conviction to guide us, and we had the courage to lead. We made promises to the people of Florida, and we have delivered on those promises,“ DeSantis said while his wife Casey stood by his side.
According to the Associated Press, Governor DeSantis won with 57.2% of the vote, with 73% of the votes counted as of 8:10 p.m. Tuesday.
Locally, Osceola County Commissioner Viviana Janer for District 2 easily won over community activist Beulah Farquharson, netting over 73% of the vote, while Osceola School Board candidate for District 4, former teacher Heather Kahoun, successfully fought off Will Fonseca, filling the seat vacated by Clarence Thacker. Kahoun netted over 500 more votes than Fonseca in what was a very heated race over the last few months.
The St. Cloud City Council dias will look a bit different after local businessman and philanthropist Ken Gilbert easily defeated Tom Lord for Seat 4, while business man and newcomer to the political scene, Shawn Fletcher, dominated opponent Jeffrey Rivera.
On the Florid House of Representatives side, Kristen Arrington for District 46 was easily re-elected with 58% of the vote in a three-way race over Republican Christian De La Torre and Non-partisan candidate Dr. Ivan Rivera.
Fred Hawkins sailed to another win as the Representative for District 35, which moved more north in the state and away from Polk County during redistricting.
St. Cloud Executive Director Paula Stark, who beat her opponent, Democrat David Nieves, for the newly formed Florida House District 47 held a watch party at Phyre Brewery and Tavern in Downtown St. Cloud and said, “It’s been a learning experience for sure. There have been a lot of new and different people we’ve been talking to and meeting. It’s been fun and been interesting, and I can;’t wait to see what this experience leads to next.”
The referendum to extend a “one cent” sales tax through 2043 passed easily, with 57% of county voters saying yes to extend it. The surtax would have ended in 2025 without Tuesday’s vote.
Osceola County supported Amendment 1, which would make improvements to homes for flood prevention not part of their assessed value, but state-wide it failed. Amendment 2, which would have abolished the state’s Charter Review Board, which meets every 20 years, didn’t hit the 60 percent mark needed to pass, and Amendment 3 which would have set up homestead exemptions for certain first responders, and teachers, achieved the 65% point in Osceola, but failed to reach 60% state-wide.