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Republican Rick Scott claims narrow victory in contentious Florida race

Rick Scott has narrowly defeated incumbent Bill Nelson. Source: AAP

Rick Scott has won the closely-fought contest for a Florida Senate seat.

Florida's outgoing Republican Governor Rick Scott has narrowly won a US Senate seat in a bitterly contested race with incumbent Bill Nelson, official results showed Sunday.

Nelson conceded the seat he has held for three terms since 2001 after a machine and hand recount showed Scott had edged the Democrat by just over 10,000 votes, or 50.05 percent to 49.93 percent, official final results showed.

"I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service," Scott wrote on his Facebook page.

A day earlier, Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded his hard-fought race to become the Sunshine State's first African American governor to his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis.

That race had also gone to a recount.

And Stacey Abrams, who aimed to become America's first black female governor, said Friday she will not win her race to lead the state of Georgia, while still accusing her Republican rival Brian Kemp of voter suppression.

Stacey Abrams failed in her bid to become the first black female governor.
Stacey Abrams failed in her bid to become the first black female governor.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly charged that Florida's elections were marred by vote fraud, but state and local authorities have said there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

Scott received warm congratulations from the American leader after his win.

"From day one Rick Scott never wavered. He was a great Governor and will be even a greater Senator in representing the People of Florida," Trump tweeted.

"Congratulations to Rick on having waged such a courageous and successful campaign!"

Scott, who governed Florida for eight years, called for unity.

"We must do what Americans have always done: come together for the good of our state and our country," he wrote.

"My focus will not be on looking backward, but on doing exactly what I ran on: Making Washington Work."

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