New Port Richey, Florida -- "Everyone, I want to introduce you to the new rep from district 36, Amanda Murphy!"
The announcement was greeted with cheers. Roughly 30 minutes after the polls closed, it was official. Close, but swift, Democrat Amanda Murphy defeated Republican Bill Gunter for Florida House seat 36, and the first person Murphy thanked was Republican Mike Fasano.
"Number one and most importantly, I need to thank Mike Fasano. Those are big shoes to fill, but he knew I have the heart and I want to take care of Pasco County the same way he does," said Murphy.
Fasano, who held the House seat until Governor Scott appointed him Pasco Tax Collector, bucked party lines when he endorsed Murphy instead of Gunter.
At times, the race was contentious, with Gunter's team firing dubious allegations at Murphy that turned off some Pasco Republicans.
"I like Amanda, I trust Amanda and I understand her. She cares about all of us whether we're Republican or Democrat," said Murphy supporter Carol Kinnard.
Gunter's election party was much more subdued. He never led at any point during the returns, and at around 7:30 p.m. he called Murphy to concede and to say good luck.
"I don't think we held anything back, I don't think they did either. The constituents of district 36 voted, and I'm content with that," said Gunter.