Ileana Garcia wins SD 37 seat by 34 votes after recount

Republican candidate Ileana Garcia has ousted Democratic Sen. José Javier Rodríguez by 34 votes after a manual recount process that ended Thursday.

Garcia pulled off the upset in Senate District 37 by just 34 votes out of more than 215,000 cast. Her win expands Republicans’ Senate majority to 24-16.

“It was the honor of a lifetime to serve my community in the Florida Legislature. Everything I accomplished to make people’s lives better was with your support so I thank you,” Rodríguez said Thursday after the results were official.

“Just now I wished Senator-elect Garcia well and remain committed to the issues that most impact us.”

In a statement, Garcia said she was “deeply humbled” by the outcome.

“I’m committed to take to Tallahassee the concerns of the residents of District 37 and I will work diligently on their behalf to make the American Dream a possibility for every hard-working family in our community,” Garcia said.

Incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson congratulated Garcia on the win Thursday.

“The people of Miami should rest assured that she has our support in her mission to clean up the Bay [and] ensure access to a world class education for every child through opportunity scholarships,” Simpson

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