Despite concerns about his age and a flap over his response to a question on the minimum wage, 81-year-old Republican congressman C. W. Bill Young beat Democratic challenger Jessica Ehrlich, 38, Tuesday in unofficial results, 57 percent to 42 percent.
"The fact that people continued to trust me means a lot to me," said Young, who has been repeatedly re-elected to Congress since he first won the seat in 1970.
Ehrlich, a novice candidate who previously worked as a congressional aide, said she called Young about 9 p.m. to congratulate him.
"I'm very proud of what I did," said Ehrlich, who would not rule out running for office next time out. Young said when he and Ehrlich talked, "I told her I expect to see her name (on a ballot) again in the future."
Young made national headlines twice during the campaign, but there was little indication either had an effect on the race.
Young, who has supported every American military intervention since Vietnam, got attention when he announced he had a change of heart about the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and thought all troops should be brought home as quickly as possible.
And Young's campaign stumbled when, during an appearance in Treasure Island, an activist asked him about raising the minimum wage. Young snapped, "Get a job!" His response was filmed and posted on YouTube. The video was the handiwork of the Florida Consumer Action Network, which Young said he was convinced was stalking him, along with members of the Occupy Wall Street movement (representatives of both denied it).