No huge surprises as Crist wins U.S. House seat, Castor keeps hers

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click to enlarge Third time's a charm: Former Governor Charlie Crist, his wife Carole at his side, thanks voters for another shot. - Kimberly DeFalco
Kimberly DeFalco
Third time's a charm: Former Governor Charlie Crist, his wife Carole at his side, thanks voters for another shot.

The race to represent Florida's 13th Congressional District has had many twists and turns in the past year and a half or so, and Donald Trump was certainly a huge factor.

Trump bumped Marco Rubio from the GOP presidential primary back into running for his U.S. Senate seat. Rubio then bumped the likes of U.S. Rep. David Jolly out of the running for that seat, instead compelling him to run to keep his own.

Former Governor Charlie Crist saw an opening for the seat when it became more Democratic-leaning and went for it, maintaining a lead, albeit a much less substantial one, even as Jolly — inarguably a popular incumbent — jumped back in and the race got bitter.

But Crist pulled it off, winning about 52 percent of the vote to Jolly's 48 percent.

And even as he and his supporters spent Tuesday evening in a banquet hall at the Don CeSar watching the presidential election results roll in, the mood was jovial.

The room was packed with dozens of longtime supporters and campaign volunteers.

"I mean, this is home, and they've been so kind to me and my family for so many years, and I'm just more grateful than I can say," he said.

He admitted that, as a Democratic Congressman in a Republican Congress with a Republican president, it'll be tough — but he's confident he'll be able to be effective.

"Yes, we do. We do. This is exciting and I look forward to it. It'll be challenging and we're up to the task.”

Across the bay, Congresswoman Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, easily held onto her seat (68 to opponent Christine Quinn's 32 percent) despite redistricting costing her a few Democratic voters and despite, well, the Trump effect.

Find Ray Roa's story on Castor's election night victory here.

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