In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott is re-elected but Rep. Joe Garcia loses

Republican Gov. Rick Scott won his re-election battle, defeating Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in a race that was extremely close. With almost all of the precincts…
In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott is re-elected but Rep. Joe Garcia loses

In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott (left) won re-election to a second term while Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia (right) lost his re-election bid. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)/(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Republican Gov. Rick Scott won his re-election battle, defeating Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in a race that was extremely close.

With almost all of the precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared Scott the winner. The Republican governor picked up 48 percent of the vote to Crist’s 47 percent. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie got 4 percent of the vote.

SEE ALSO: Puerto Rican voters could determine results of Florida’s elections

Scott faced a tough challenge from Crist, who was trying to get his old job back. Crist, served as a Republican governor in Florida from 2007 to 2011 before becoming an independent and then a Democrat.

The race between Scott and Crist remained extremely close leading up to election day.

An exit poll conducted by Latino Decisions found Latino voters in Florida favored Crist over Scott by a 52 percent to 45 percent margin. The poll also shows immigration was the top issue for Latinos, followed by the economy and health care.

Also competing for re-election in Florida was Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia, who was seeking a second term to represent Florida’s 26th congressional district.

Garcia lost his seat to Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo, who’s a Miami-Dade County School Board member. Garcia picked up 49 percent of the vote while Curbelo received 51 percent.

“It does not appear we’re going to make up ground. This year was not a good year for Democrats,” Garcia said, according to the Miami Herald, as he conceded the race to Curbelo.

SEE ALSO: 6 Latinos running in highly competitive congressional races

Both Garcia and Curbelo are sons of Cuban exiles.

As he ran for re-election, Garcia was defending himself against allegations of corruption. Last year, his former chief of staff was convicted of absentee ballot fraud. And now federal investigators are looking into whether Garcia’s campaign helped fund a “shadow candidate” in 2010 when Garcia first ran against former Republican Rep. David Rivera and lost.

In Congress, Garcia has been a vocal supporter of immigration reform. Last year, he was a lead sponsor of a comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced in the House.