In a heavily-contested race, incumbent Jeb Bush became the first republican to be reelected as the governor of Florida.
Winning 53 of the 67 counties, Bush garnered 56 percent of the vote statewide while Democratic opponent Bill McBride received 43 percent and Independent candidate Robert Kunst received 1 percent.
Bush received over 70 percent of the vote in Collier, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and St. Johns counties.
“We did better than we thought we would do,” Bush said, according to a Miami Herald article.
Despite Bush’s major support in the Panhandle and south and northeastern Florida, McBride carried the vote in the Big Bend.
Franklin, Jefferson, Leon, Madison and Wakulla counties voted more than 50 percent in favor of the Tampa lawyer, who received 73 percent of the vote in Gadsden County.
Bush’s victory is a major setback for the Democratic Party. Two weeks ago, the party’s national chairman declared Bush the No. 1 GOP target in 2002.
Bush joins other republican incumbents in Colorado, Connecticut, Nebraska and Nevada who were also reelected.