Tampa, Florida - Republican Rick Scott is Florida's next governor. Democrat Alex Sink conceded the race this morning.
"Unfortunately we just fell less than 100,000 votes of victory," Sink said in emotional remarks Wednesday morning. "The fact that we came so incredibly close is really a remarkable statement that so many people believed in me."
Republican Scott leads the vote count after a night of tallying that saw his victory margin dwindle but remain intact.
Unofficial results show Scott ahead by about 68,000 votes out of the 5.3 million cast. About 1.3 percentage points separate Scott from Sink.
Sink refused to concede late Tuesday night and the Florida Democratic Party called in lawyers to review the status of counts in Palm Beach and Hillsborough counties.
Scott's lead started out on Election Night well over 50 percent, the result of successful Republican early-vote efforts. As the count went on, Sink continued to cut into the Republican's lead. Scott's portion of the vote now stands at 49 percent. More than 3 percent of the vote went to no- or minor-party candidates.
"I am absolutely confident I will be the next governor of the great state of Florida," Scott said in a 2 a.m. press conference in Ft. Lauderdale. Scott also apologized that the vote tallying was taking so long in the address, which almost sounded like a victory speech.
Just after midnight in Tampa, Sink thanked her supporters but cautioned that there were still hundreds of thousands of voters yet to be counted.
Overnight, both sides appeared to be lawyering up. Just before midnight, the Palm Beach Post reports representatives from Rick Scott's campaign showed up at the Supervisor of Elections office in Palm Beach County. They declined to make an official comment but said privately that they were concerned about the county's delays in tallying the votes.
After that, the Sink campaign called Palm Beach County to ask that the counting stop until representatives of the Sink campaign could get there, a Scott campaign spokesperson told 10 News.
State law would call for an automatic machine recount in the event of a margin that is one half of a percentage point. Of the vote is within a quarter of a percentage point, the law requires a hand recount.
Janie Porter, 10 News and Paul Flemming, Florida Capital Bureau