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Monday, December 04, 2023

Statewide election results: Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, Ashley Moody win reelection

The Alligator reports statewide elections

<p>Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a crowd at Clark Plantation Wedding Venue in Newberry, Florida, on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. </p>

Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a crowd at Clark Plantation Wedding Venue in Newberry, Florida, on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.

The Alligator will update Florida statewide elections results as they are called throughout the night by the Associated Press. 

10 p.m. Florida Supreme Court justices all retained

Five state Supreme Court justices were up for a vote of retention during this election cycle. These public votes are conducted when a judge reaches the second year of their six-year appointment and at the end of the term if they seek to remain in the seat. 

Three of the justices — Charles Canady, Jorge Labarga and Ricky Polston — were appointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran for that office again after serving from 2007-2011. The other two — John Couriel and Jamie Grosshans — were appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Canady has been a Florida Supreme Court justice since 2008. He also served two terms as the chief justice from 2010-2012 and 2020-2022. Canady also has a decade of experience as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, serving both the 44th and 12th District. 

As a justice, he was notably one of two dissenters to the court’s decision to uphold the requirement of a unanimous jury for the death sentence in 2016. 

Labarga was appointed in January 2009. When he became the chief justice in 2014, Labarga became the first Cuban American to lead Florida’s judicial branch. He was chief justice for two consecutive terms until 2018. Labarga was the lone dissenter in a decision to remain out of the lower court’s challenge of DeSantis’ redistricting plan.  

Polston was a judge on the Florida First District Court of Appeal from 2001 until his move to the state supreme court in 2008. He notably opposed a majority ruling to block a 24-hour abortion waiting period law from going into effect in 2017.  

Couriel was appointed in 2020 and is the 90th Florida Supreme Court justice. He was appointed by DeSantis to fill one of the seats vacated by Barbara Lagoa and Robert J. Luck. Couriel was a Republican candidate for District 114 of the Florida House of Representatives in 2016 and for Florida State Senate District 35 in 2012.

Grosshans was appointed to the state supreme court by DeSantis in 2020, after Luck's appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Grosshans rejected a challenge to charter schools getting voter-approved tax money. Additionally, she joined Labarga and Alan Lawson to oppose a ruling that admonished a traffic ticket clinic, siding with the Florida Bar.

8:56 p.m. Simpson flips Commissioner of Agriculture

The cabinet seat opened due to former Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried’s choice to run for governor. The race was between Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, a Republican, and Naomi Blemur, a Democrat. 

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Simpson is a fifth-generation Floridian and a farmer. He carries endorsements from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the rest of the Florida cabinet. Belmur is an accountant from Miami and would have been the first woman of color to be the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture.

8:55 p.m. Moody takes Attorney General

Ashley Moody, a member of the Republican Party and the incumbent, has served as Florida’s attorney general since January 2019. Prior to her election, Moody was an attorney, a circuit court judge and a federal prosecutor. Her opponent was Aramis Ayala, who is an attorney based out of Orlando. Ayala previously served for three years — from 2017 to 2020 — as the state attorney of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, representing Orange and Osceola counties.

8:18 p.m. Rubio defeats Demings 

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2011. He also unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016. In this election, Rubio sought his third term. The Democratic candidate was Rep. Val Demings. She’s served as a representative for Florida’s 10th district — which includes parts of Orange, Lake and Polk counties — since 2017. Demings, who was Orlando’s first female police chief, would have been Florida’s first Black Senator. 

8:09 p.m. DeSantis bests Crist 

Ron DeSantis, the incumbent, has served as Florida’s 46th Governor since 2019. Before his time as governor, DeSantis represented Florida’s sixth district from 2013 to 2018. His opponent was Democratic candidate Charlie Crist, who represented Florida’s 13th district — consisting of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Largo — from 2017-2022. 

Contact Joseph Henry at Follow him on Twitter @Josephhenry2424.

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Joseph Henry

Joseph Henry is a fourth-year sports journalism major and is the Alligator's sports editor. He previously worked as senior news director, assistant sports editor, men's basketball beat reporter, volleyball beat reporter and golf beat reporter. He enjoys sitting down to watch a movie as often as possible, collecting vinyl and drinking Dr. Pepper. 

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