Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rubio wins Florida Senate seat easily over Crist, Meek

Rubio wins Florida Senate seat easily over Crist, Meek

Republican Sen.-elect Marco Rubio hugs his mother Oria after thanking supporters in Coral Gables, on Tuesday. To the left is his wife Jeanette and daughter Amanda.
Published: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 8:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 11:04 p.m.
CORAL GABLES - Marco Rubio, the 39-year-old son of Cuban immigrants who began his race for U.S. Senate facing a 35-point deficit, swept into office on Tuesday night after winning a decisive victory over Gov. Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.

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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and his wife Carole, approach the podium as he concedes to Republican Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
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Rubio told supporters in his acceptance speech that he is determined to make good on promises that Republicans have made before, but have not kept: to control spending and lower taxes.
“We make a great mistake if we believe tonight these results somehow are an embrace of the Republican Party,” Rubio said. “What they are is a second chance, a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be not so long ago.”
Before a rousing crowd outside the historic Biltmore Hotel, Rubio called his victory a reminder that anyone can achieve anything in the United States regardless of their upbringing or birth.
“No matter where I go or what title I might achieve, I will always be the son of exiles,” Rubio said.
Rubio was championed by the Tea Party movement. The central themes of his campaign were condemnations of the federal stimulus, the federal health care overhaul and the nation's growing deficit.
Rubio called his election and the success of other Republicans on Tuesday a fresh opportunity for the party after it lost control of Congress and the White House in 2008.
Rubio's victory may have ended the two-decade-old political career of Crist, who bolted his own party in April to run as an independent.
Meek and Crist called Rubio shortly after polls closed in the Panhandle and it became clear that Rubio would take the three-way race. Meek congratulated Rubio, but left open the door for a future run for office.

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