The polls are closed and the voting portion of Election Day is just about over in Miami-Dade, Broward and across Florida. Here is an updating live blog on the results as they come in.
Bullard and DLP upended in Florida Senate races
11 p.m.: The twin forces of redistricting and a surge of enthusiastic new voters worked Tuesday to defeat two of Miami-Dade’s incumbent state senators in three of the most bitterly contested and expensive state Senate races in the state.
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Coral Gables, was defeated by Rep. Jose Javier Rodriquez, D-Miami, in the race for District 37 and Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Ridge, lost to Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, in District 40.
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The loss of two members of Miami-Dade’s political dynasties will also work to reshape the state Senate, where Republicans will hold a 25-15 majority, having picked up a net of only one seat after a court-ordered redistricting map reshaped the districts and forced all 40 members of the state Senate onto the ballot.
— Mary Ellen Klas, Jacqueline Charles and Jenny Staletovich
Trump takes Florida
10:50 p.m.: Donald Trump rode his phenom candidacy into a triumphant Florida victory Tuesday night, amassing a coalition of voters who embraced his populist message of upending the political establishment.
It was still too early to call the national presidential race between Trump and Hillary Clinton. But Trump needed a Florida win to have any hope of reaching the White House, and he had already been declared the winner in another all-important swing state, Ohio. Those triumphs could portend similar results elsewhere: The last person to win the White House after losing Florida and Ohio was John F. Kennedy, in 1960.
Trump led in projected Electoral College votes when Florida, a state President Barack Obama carried twice, was called shortly before 11 p.m.
— Patricia Mazzei
Democrats gain two state House seats but one is headed for recount
A surprisingly robust voter turnout in Democrat-leaning Miami-Dade County brought two newcomer Democrats into previously Republican seats Tuesday, but one of the races —featuring former congressman David Rivera — appeared headed for a recount.
Read more here.
— Mary Ellen Klas and Carol Rosenberg
Florida sets turnout record at 9.5 million
After a record 6.5 million people in Florida had voted early or by mail, more than 2.5 million more showed up at 6,000 precincts on Tuesday, swelling the unofficial turnout to 9.5 million, the highest ever for a Florida election, with returns not complete.
In the last presidential election four years ago, 8.5 million Floridians cast ballots. The statewide turnout was 71.5 percent.
Hillary Clinton’s firewall of support from women, black and Hispanic voters was thwarted by huge election-day turnouts in Republican-leaning counties such as Duval, Manatee, Marion and Pasco that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.
— Steve Bousquet
Doral mayor’s election headed to run-off
Doral voters reelected an incumbent councilwoman and will go back to the polls for a runoff to decide the mayoral race and another seat on the City Council, based on unofficial election results late Tuesday.
The only post decided Tuesday was City Council Seat 3, where Councilwoman Christi Fraga was reelected. With all 11 precincts reporting, Fraga earned about 53 percent of the vote while research analyst Digna Cabral and certified public accountant David Hernandez received 25 and 21 percent respectively.
Mayor Luigi Boria, 58, is headed to a runoff against former mayor Juan Carlos “JC” Bermudez, 54. Bermudez earned about 47 percent of the vote while Boria secured 33 percent. Sandra Ruiz, 54, an incumbent councilman, received about 20 percent of the vote.
— Lance Dixon
Change coming in Hollywood, Hallandale Beach as Broward votes
10:15 p.m.: Joshua Levy, a lifelong Hollywood resident who has never held elected office, fended off two seasoned politicians to become Hollywood’s mayor.
With most of the precincts reporting, he beat out former Florida Sen. Eleanor Sobel — who has been in politics since the 1990s and has been a city commissioner, state legislator and school board member — and City Commissioner Patricia Asseff, the lone Republican in the race, who has been a Hollywood commissioner for eight years.
“I think that it says the city has moved on from the leaders of yesteryear,” said Levy just before heading to downtown Hollywood for a celebration with more than 100 supporters. “Hollywood is a younger, more diverse city then it was in the 1990s.”
In Hallandale Beach, the city commission had a major power shift Tuesday night when Commissioner Bill Julian lost to Anabelle Taub and City Commissioner Michele Lazarow defeated former City Commissioner Alexander Lewy.
For county commission, former state Sen. Steve Geller, a Democrat, beat Chuck Lanza, a Republican. Two coupled questions about raising the county’s sales tax by a penny in order to fund transportation and municipal infrastructure projects appeared on track to fail.
For sheriff, Democrat Scott Israel handily beat Republican Santiago Vazquez.
—Amy Sherman and Carli Teproff
Wasserman Schultz reelected
10:10 p.m.: U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz easily won re-election in South Florida’s 23rd congressional district on Tuesday.
Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat first elected to the seat in 2004, defeated Republican Joe Kaufman, by about 16 percentage points. Kaufman also unsuccessfully challenged Wasserman Schultz in 2014. The district covers parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
Wasserman Schultz served as chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2011 to this year. She resigned after a Wikileaks release of purloined emails showed she and DNC staffers had favored presidential contender Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primaries.
— Andres Viglucci
In scandal-plagued Opa-locka, one incumbent reelected, one defeated
10:05 p.m.: The Opa-locka City Commission will look a little different after Tuesday’s election as one incumbent was re-elected and another was defeated by a political newcomer, based on unofficial results Tuesday night.
Commissioner Joseph Kelley held onto his seat and will be joined by Matthew Pigatt, 30, a scholarship coordinator at Florida Memorial University.
With all seven precincts reporting, Kelley earned about 34 percent of the vote while Pigatt received about 22 percent.
Commissioner Luis Santiago received about 18 percent while Alvin Burke, 62, a retired Miami-Dade corrections officer, received 12 percent, Christine Banks, 64, a longtime administrative assistant in the city’s government, earned about 11 percent and Diamos Demerritt, 33, a minister who teaches at New Birth Baptist Church’s elementary school, got about 3 percent of the vote.
— Lance Dixon
Ros-Lehtinen coasts to reelection in CD 27
10 p.m.: Veteran U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen easily won re-election in South Florida’s 27th Congressional District on Tuesday.
Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican who has held the seat since 1989, defeated Democrat Scott Fuhrman, a businessman and political newcomer, by about 10 pecertainge points with most of the vote counted.
The district includes Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Little Havana, Miami, Pinecrest, South Miami, and Westchester.
— Andres Viglucci
Florida Keys split on released GMO mosquitoes to fight Zika
10:00 p.m.: Monroe County voters and those in the Lower Keys neighborhood of Key Haven on Tuesday were split on releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in Key Haven as a test to see the measure can reduce the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry Zika and other viruses.
In a nonbinding referendum, about 58 percent of voters countywide favored the mosquito release. In Key Haven, where the same question was asked, about 65 percent of voters opposed the release.
The final decision on whether millions of GMO mosquitoes will be released in Key Haven in spring 2017 to battle the Zika virus falls on the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board. The agenda has not yet been prepared for the board’s Nov. 19 meeting and Beth Ranson, public information officer, could not confirm whether it will be discussed.
— Katie Atkins
Diaz-Balart reelected to U.S. House of Representatives
9:55 p.m.: U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart handily won re-election in South Florida’s 25th Congressional District on Tuesday.
Diaz-Balart, a Republican first elected to Congress in 2002, defeated Democrat Alina Valdes, a physician who had not previously run for office, by a comfortable margin, about 25 percentage points with most of the vote counted.
Diaz-Balart was heavily favored to win the district, which stretches from Miami’s western suburbs to Marco Island and communities east of Naples.
— Andres Viglucci
Pizzi and Cid in runoff election for Miami Lakes mayor
9:40 p.m.: Miami Lakes voters will be headed back to the polls for a runoff election between Mayor Michael Pizzi and Councilman Manny Cid, while three other Town Council members were elected, based on unofficial results Tuesday night.
With all seven precincts reporting, Cid earned about 46 percent of the vote while incumbent mayor Pizzi and former mayor Wayne Slaton received 31 and 23 percent respectively. Because Cid didn’t receive the simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) needed to win outright, there will be a runoff election on Nov. 29.
The newest member of the Town Council will be Luis Collazo, a social worker and advocate for senior citizens.
— Lance Dixon
Two Miami-Dade run-off judicial elections tight.
9:35 p.m.: Two Miami-Dade judicial races were too close to call at 9:30 p.m.
Mark Blumstein, a former U.S. Navy lawyer and Surfside City Commissioner, appeared to be edging out Luis Perez-Medina, a Miami-Dade public-corruption prosecutor.
The two candidates had emerged from a group of four during August’s primary election. Blumstein won the most votes then, but the race went to a run-off because he did not reach more than 50 percent of the vote.
In the other race, Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts – a Miami-Dade assistant public defender and former Miami assistant city attorney – was essentially tied with Carol Breece, a lawyer with the Broward Inspector General’s office and a former prosecutor.
With 758 or 783 reporting, Rodriguez-Fonts led by less than 5,000 votes.
— David Ovalle
Regalado concedes Miami-Dade Mayor’s race
9:30 p.m.: Raquel Regalado conceded to Mayor Carlos Gimenez Tuesday night at Our Lady-Lebanon Catholic Church.
“I respect democracy and today I respect the will of the people, and the people have spoken and have decided to give Carlos Gimenez another four years. I hope that this time around he considers the voters that voted against him and rethinks some of his priorities at county hall.”
“From the very beginning this was a David versus Goliath and I never lied about that. But the reality is is that we had a tremendous victory today. We did what no one has ever done in Miami-Dade County; to take on an incumbent with over $8 million is no small feat, and to come this close is nothing that we should be ashamed of.”
Regalado wasn't clear about what her next steps will be in her career, but said was only certain about one thing:
“I'm not going home to bake cookies. I’m not that type of person. But what I will do is continue fighting for the residents of Miami-Dade County. This is not an end, it’s a beginning. I’ve really been blessed with an amazing team and an amazing opportunity,” she said.
Regalado said she will continue in the political arena, but wouldn’t give any details.
“One thing is for sure. I'm not going away. This is not the end of my political career by any means,” she said. “I told my kids that whatever happens, I’ll take them to Disney World this weekend. So I’m doing that, but beyond that, we haven't made any decisions as to what the future is. All I can say is that this race was hard-fought and that I’m stuck with Mickey Mouse.”
— Monique O. Madan
9:20 p.m.: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy entered his Election Night party at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott at 8:42 p.m. to deliver his concession speech, which emphasized unity after this election and a need to end the negativity and partisanship in politics.
He also tried to shift the focus to the more positive news of the night: a potential Hillary Clinton victory for the presidency.
“Obviously we were expecting and hoping for a different result this evening,” Murphy said as he began the 9-minute speech.
Murphy said he spoke with Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio -- the night's victor -- to “congratulate him and wish him luck.” When Murphy's supporters booed, Murphy responded quickly: “No, no, no.”
"At the end of the day, it is an honor to serve the people of Florida in the United States Senate," Murphy said. "Senator Rubio and I obviously had our differences -- you all saw the debates. We have our differences but at this point, it's important that we come together and do what's best for Florida."
"Floridians are counting on Senator Rubio to fight for them," Murphy added. "And he is going to be a fighter for Florida."
Murphy, who was alone on stage, emphasized the positive news Florida Democrats were anticipating but wasn’t yet certain: A Clinton victory for the White House.
“At the end of the day, we are on a pathway to making history tonight. We are about to elect Hillary Clinton to be our next president,” Murphy said to lively cheers. “We are about to elect the first female president in the history of the United States of America.”
Murphy called this election “one of the most important elections of any in our lifetime” but also “one of the most challenging for this country.”
“Too often it would seem the negative attacks and the partisanship would overshadow the issues important to Floridians, and I don't know if our country can take another election quite like this one,” he said, “but we deserve elected officials that are going to put their country in front of the partisan bickering, to solve problems instead of placing blame, who are committed to service.”
“We need a new era of politics and I’m hopeful that new era begins tonight,” Murphy said, referencing Clinton again.
In the rest of Murphy's speech, he thanked his constituents in Florida's 18th Congressional District (in the Treasure Coast and northern Palm Beach County), calling it an “honor” to serve them for the past four years.
He also thanked his family -- his parents in particular -- his campaign staff and his volunteers.
“We were in this fight together from the very beginning and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m proud of what we were able to get done,” Murphy said. “It's been the honor of a lifetime to have been your Democratic nominee.”
— Kristen M. Clark
Rubio gives victory speech
9:15 p.m.: Marco Rubio, flanked by his family, took the stage at his watch party shortly before 9 p.m. to the cheers of a raucous crowd inside a ballroom at Miami's Airport Hilton
He said he talked to Murphy by phone. “He ran a great race.”
In his brief remarks, Rubio struck a optimistic tone, making no mention of Clinton or Trump. He took a sharply different tact than Trump, his party's standard bearer who campaigned with divisive rhetoric.
“America is going to be OK. We will turn this country around. I have faith. I know God is not done with America yet,” Rubio said, adding: “While we can disagree on issues, we cannot share a country where people hate each other because of their political affiliations. We cannot move forward as a nation if we can not have enlightened debates about tough issues.”
Rubio acknowledged the government had left the electorate betrayed.
“We must channel that anger and frustration into something positive,” Rubio said. “Let us move forward with energy to confront and solve our problems.”
Rubio left the stage to loud cheers - and the thumping beats of Flo Rida's song “My House.”
— David Ovalle
Broward slugish in posting Election Day results
Broward County has been showing election results at a slower pace than some other large counties in Florida.
Shortly after 7 p.m., Broward posted results from early voting and absentee ballots. But it wasn’t until about 8:30 p.m. that the county posted the first results from precincts — displaying results from 91 of 577 precincts.
At about 8:54 p.m., the county showed 278 out of 577 precincts. Results showed Hillary Clinton in the lead by about 262,000.
When Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes was asked about why Broward’s results were lagging behind, she said that results in 381 precincts were available and seemed surprised to hear that a smaller amount on posted on the website accessed by the the public.
“We are not comparing to other counties,” she said. “We can’t always compare to other counties.”
Curbelo reelected to Congress, beats Garcia
9: p.m.: Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo handily held onto his seat on Tuesday in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country after turning back a challenge from the Democrat he unseated two years ago, Joe Garcia.
With most of the vote counted, Curbelo was ahead by 12 points in the battleground 26th Congressional District, which sprawls from Westchester to Key West, despite a redrawing that pushed its electoral make-up to the left after the Republican ousted Garcia in 2014. The new district’s demographics put the incumbent, who fashioned himself as one of a dwindling species — a moderate Republican — at something of a disadvantage.
But Curbelo carefully threaded the political needle, pointedly repudiating GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump while bolstering his credentials with conservative Cuban Americans in the ethnically and politically diverse district by criticizing Garcia, a former head of the Cuban American National Foundation, for his support of President Barack Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba.
— Andres Viglucci
Solar amendment fails
8:47 p.m.: Florida voters rejected Amendment 1 on Tuesday, the utility-backed measure to limit rooftop solar expansion, after a scrappy, grassroots campaign and last-minute revelations raised doubts about the proponents’ claims that their goal was to expand solar generation.
By 8:30 p.m. EST and with nearly three-quarters of precincts reporting, the vote was almost evenly split, falling short of the 60 percent needed for a state constitutional amendment to become law.
The amendment attempted to use the popularity of solar to embed new language into the Florida Constitution that could have been used as a legal barrier to raise fees on solar users and keep out companies that want to compete with the utilities to provide solar energy generation.
— Mary Ellen Klas
Gallon, Rojas leading in Miami-Dade School Board races
8:45 p.m.: The Miami-Dade School Board could be in for a shake-up.
With over 80 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m., Steve Gallon III had a double-digit lead over incumbent Wilbert “Tee” Holloway in the race to represent District 1, which includes Miami Gardens, Carol City and North Miami.
Holloway, a retired AT&T executive, was appointed to the School Board in 2007 by Gov. Charlie Crist. Gallon, a former Northwestern Senior High School principal, is his first serious challenger.
In District 6, which includes Key Biscayne, Coral Gables and South Miami, Maria Teresa “Mari Tere” Rojas is ahead of Modesto “Mo” Abety by double digits. Both candidates bring years of experience working with children. Rojas is a former Miami-Dade teacher, principal and administrator and Abety is the former president of The Children’s Trust. They are vying to fill county mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado’s seat.
Updated 9:45 p.m.: Gallon and Rojas win.
— Kyra Gurney
Medical Marijuana amendment approved
8:40 p.m.: Patients suffering from debilitating illnesses will soon have access to medical marijuana in Florida after voters approved Amendment 2 on Tuesday.
By 8:30 p.m. EST it was clear that Amendment 2 would pass, and the outcome was projected by the Associated Press. The amendment inserts language into the Florida Constitution allowing those with cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and a host of other conditions to use marijuana if it is recommended by their doctor.
Broad early support from voters pushed medical marijuana past the 60 percent threshold required to amend the state constitution.
— Michael Auslen
Miami-Dade reelects Mayor Carlos Gimenez
8:25 p.m.: Carlos Gimenez was reelected as Miami-Dade mayor Tuesday night, securing another four years after campaigning as a skilled administrator who reduced tax rates, tamed government spending and chipped away at enduring problems facing Florida’s largest county.
Running for a final term as mayor, Gimenez, 62, held a more than 10-point lead over school-board member Raquel Regalado, 42, after more than 85 percent of the precincts reported results Tuesday evening. It was shaping up as a comfortable victory, with Gimenez topping 55 percent to Regalado’s 45 percent, and one that positions Gimenez as the dominant player in county politics this decade.
To read more, click here.
— Douglas Hanks
8:15 p.m.: Marco Rubio is headed back to the U.S. Senate with his prospects of another run for president intact.
Rubio defeated two-term Congressman Patrick Murphy, who couldn’t overcome poor name recognition or questions about embellishments on his résumé.
The Associated Press called the race for Rubio shortly after 8 p.m. EST. To read the Miami Herald’s coverage, click here.
— Jeremy Wallace, Kristen M. Clark and David Ovalle
New York Times breaks down Florida county by county
8:00 p.m.: A New York Times analysis of every county in the state of Florida shows Hillary Clinton currently leading in the state with 49.8 percent of the vote. Her support is backed through strong showings in South Florida, Osceola and Orange counties in Central Florida, and Hillsborough and Pinellas counties on the Gulf Coast.
Clinton is also showing well in Alachua, as well as Leon and Gadsden counties.
Trump, who the Times has at 47.4 percent of the vote, owns most the rest of the state, with the Panhandle results still pending.
— David Smiley
Absentee and early voting results put Rubio behind Murphy in Miami-Dade
7:39 p.m.: With the results posted for early and absentee voting posted, Republican Senator Marco Rubio is lagging behind Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy in his home county of Miami-Dade.
Rubio has received 323,272 votes, or 42.68 percent in the county to Murphy’s 419,927, or 55.44%.
— David Smiley
First election results show Clinton with early 36-point lead in South Florida
7 :15 p.m.: Elections supervisors in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have posted the results of absentee voting, and they show Clinton with an early 68 to 32 lead over Donald Trump in South Florida.
Clinton has 602,271 votes to Trump’s 281,355. Statewide, Clinton has an early two-point lead, according to CNN.
Democrats have hoped to build a large lead over Trump in South Florida in order to help win the state.
— David Smiley