The Daystarter: The blue wave misses Florida; how Ron DeSantis defeated Andrew Gillum (and what’s next), Bill Nelson has yet to concede to Rick Scott; complete Florida election results

Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published November 7 2018
Updated November 7 2018

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.

• Expect scattered showers, especially in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. High temperatures will once again go from the lower to upper 80s.

• Want to catch up on all the results from the 2018 Midterm Election? They’re all just one click away.

• Florida broke the hearts of Democrats once again Tuesday, as President Donald Trump’s anointed gubernatorial candidate, Ron DeSantis, edged out presumed frontrunner Andrew Gillum. The photo finish delivered Florida’s top office to the GOP for a sixth straight election, and is sure to leave Democrats shattered about how they could lose an election where they seemed to have so many advantages.

• DeSantis’ victory signals the endurance of Donald Trump’s Republican party in the nation’s most populous swing state, dealing a punishing blow to liberals who were fired up around a potential rebuke of their state’s support of the president almost exactly two years ago. But it was not so. Here’s how he won the election.

• Now that he is headed to Tallahassee, what’s first on the agenda for DeSantis? He gave some insight shortly after his victory speech.

• In the end, it was Florida’s mercurial weather that proved to be a better omen of Andrew Gillum’s night than the polls. Here’s how Gillum’s so-hoped-for blue wave slipped away in another statewide loss for Florida Democrats.

• Rick Scott did it again. Powered by a highly-motivated Republican turnout and another $60 million from his vast personal fortune, Gov. Scott clinched a seat in the U.S. Senate and dislodged deeply-entrenched Democrat Bill Nelson from office. Despite a record turnout for a Florida midterm election and widespread predictions of a Democratic "blue wave," Scott won his third straight statewide election.

• After watching returns on TV from the 14th floor of the La Playa resort in Naples, Scott decided not to wait for a concession speech from Nelson, whose career was over. Scott arrived in the hotel ballroom a few minutes after The Associated Press declared him the winner. "Now that this campaign is behind us, that’s where we’re going to leave it," Scott said. "These campaigns are divisive, and they’re tough, and it’s way too nasty."

• As for Nelson, he was nowhere to be found at his Orlando watch party as it became apparent that the blue wave would not carry him to a fourth term, ending the career of than old-guard Democrat, the last one standing in statewide Florida politics. A staff said Nelson "will be making a full statement (today) to thank all those who rallied for his cause."

• This may end up being the most consequential vote: Floridians voted to pass Amendment 4 by more than 64 percent, automatically restoring the right to vote to about 1.2 million convicted felons in Florida and ending a complicated process that restore the rights of very few.

• If one figure loomed large over Florida’s attorney general race this year, it was President Donald Trump. But outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi was a close second. And as Republican Ashley Moody easily defeated Democrat Sean Shaw Tuesday night, continuing two decades of Republican dominance of the office, both Bondi and Trump again were on their minds.

• Sights from election night: Check out the images from the Tampa Bay Times photo staff of Florida’s closely-contested governor’s race.

• In national news, the Democrats were on their way to taking back the House, picking up at least 18 Republican-held seats in districts across the country as one of the most volatile midterm elections in modern U.S. history drew toward a close. The party needed a net gain of 23 seats to break the Republicans’ eight-year hold on the House and place a check on President Donald Trump.

• The most surprising election result may be right here: Hillsborough County Commissioner was upset and unseated by Democrat Mariella Smith with 53 percent of the total.

• How did Florida handle Election Day? Zachary T. Sampson explains what the state right and what it did wrong during a historic Midterm Election.

• What started Tuesday night’s hostilities between the Lightning’s Mathieu Joseph and the Oilers’ Milan Lucic on the ice Tuesday? Diana Nearhos explains why the rookie Joseph was on the receiving end of Lucic’s wrath during the Lightning’s win over Edmonton.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including concerts by pop star Ed Sheeran and country stars in the QYK Guitar Pull.

• In the run-up to Saturday’s R. Kelly show in Tampa, we talked to Kenyette Barnes, the Atlanta lobbyist and activist who founded the #MuteRKelly social media movement. Akin to #MeToo or #TimesUp, it is designed to diminish the controversial singer’s influence the music world. That includes concerts like the one scheduled for Saturday at the Yuengling Center in Tampa.

• Our food editor shares lessons from a cooking boot campat the Culinary Institute of America.

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