Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson ends re-election bid after decades in Congress, concedes to Republican Rick Scott

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WASHINGTON, DC (Gray DC) -- Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has ended his re-election bid after decades in Congress, conceding to Republican challenger and Florida Governor Rick Scott.

This afternoon, after machine and hand recounts came to a close, the Florida Division of Elections reported that Scott led Nelson by 10,033 votes.

Following that final tally, the Scott campaign released a statement saying the incumbent Senator had called and "graciously conceded" and that Scott "thanked him for his years of public service."

Sunday afternoon, Nelson's team released a taped concession speech. In the video, he thanked his supporters and urged Floridians to continue working on policy issues.

“I will continue to fight on and on for the inalienable human rights that are the soul and glory of the American experiment: civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and the sacred right to vote," said Nelson.

This past week, Scott left the Governor's Mansion and made his way to Capitol Hill for new lawmaker orientation meetings. He appeared at an open press event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other incoming GOP U.S. Senators.

Also this weekend in Florida, the Republicans appeared to prevail in the heated, nationally-watched Governor's race. Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis after the GOP candidate held on to a slim margin.

In the new year, Republicans are on track to maintain a majority control of the U.S. Senate but Democrats will take power of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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