Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.
His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. Biden crossed 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania.
Here is a compilation of reactions from Florida elected officials and politicians:
Former Governor Jeb Bush, via Twitter:
Congratulations to President-elect Biden. I have prayed for our President most of my adult life. I will be praying for you and your success. Now is the time to heal deep wounds. Many are counting on you to lead the way.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 7, 2020
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried:
“Americans across our nation have sent a message which cannot be ignored — we must build back better. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will start us on the path to reverse the chaos and divisiveness that Donald Trump and his enablers cast across the United States for the past four years. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are the right leaders for this charge to help heal our divisions and govern on behalf of all Americans, not just those who voted for them.
“This election wasn’t just a referendum on Trump, but a moment about the integrity of our constitution, the freedom we stand for, and the soul of our country. Our constitution itself cannot protect our institutions or independence, the respect for freedom and democracy in the hearts of the American people can do that. We’ve now seen that respect expressed in an effort to rid our country of a cancer on democracy and move forward in the direction of unity, equality, hope, justice, and truth. This election marks the dawn of a new day, a new decade, and a new era all across America.”
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott:
“The voters get to decide who the President is. This is a close race and Donald Trump will and should use every avenue at his disposal to make sure every legal vote is counted.”
U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, via Twitter:
“They don’t make ’em like Joe anymore. I was humbled to endorse President-Elect Joe Biden early on. I knew he was who we needed to rebuild the soul of our nation. We are witnessing history with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Together these leaders will unite our nation.”
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy:
Congratulations President-Elect @JoeBiden & Vice President-Elect @KamalaHarris! What a historic day for our country rejecting Donald Trump and electing a great man and our first woman vice president. I love this incredible country! #FlaPol pic.twitter.com/gG3qCgrTPn
— Stephanie Murphy (@SMurphyCongress) November 7, 2020
U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, via Twitter:
Congrats to President-Elect @JoeBiden! What a tremendous victory for the future of America. Together we will end the #COVID19 pandemic, bring our economy back to prosperity and unite the country! #UnitedWeStand pic.twitter.com/sZcQQv4IXf
— Darren Soto (@DarrenSoto) November 7, 2020
U.S. Rep. Val Demings, via Twitter:
“When I heard the news, I was at the graveside of July Perry, the Black voting rights advocate killed 100 years ago in the Ocoee Massacre.
“It is a monument to the fact that America has not always lived up to our promise, but that each generation has worked, struggled and sacrificed to build a more perfect union.
“Four years ago, we took a step backwards. Today, the American people showed up in record numbers to restore honor, competence, and empathy to the White House.“I am so proud of everyone who worked to make this moment happen, and I am thrilled to congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their historic victory.
“I’m eager to get back to work to restore the promise of America and give every person a safe and prosperous future.”
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor:
“Congratulations, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris – making history!
“President-Elect Biden has won the 270 electoral votes necessary to elect him President, and American democracy has proven strong in the face of an extremely close election. Over four million more Americans voted for Biden than voted for President Trump. President-Elect Biden won both the Electoral College and the popular vote, something President Trump never attained. A basic tenet of freedom and of American democracy is “one person, one vote” – majority rules.
“The transparent count by poll workers and everyday Americans, including Republican and Democratic volunteers, is vital to ensuring a free and fair election. You see them quietly serving when you vote. We owe them a debt of gratitude – true guardians of democracy.
“Now that this hard fought election is behind us, let’s begin to pull together to serve the land we love. President-Elect Biden has said that he will be the President not just for those who voted for him, but for all Americans. Let’s take him at his word. I pledge to build bipartisan bridges, continue my effort in Congress to crush the coronavirus, help folks get back to work and send our children back to school safely. Right now, many of our neighbors need a helping hand and our small businesses need a boost. Together, we will work to lower the costs of health care and continue to perfect our Union by making America more fair, just and equal for all.
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings:
“On the heels of one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history, the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris symbolizes the unity, diversity, and resilience of the American people, despite the hardships our nation has endured over the past four years.
“I join the millions of Americans in celebrating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory and stand ready to work side by side with them on a transformative legislative agenda to get our nation back on track.
“I am so elated by the glass ceiling that has been shattered by Kamala Harris, who has made history as the first female, first Black, and first South Asian American Vice President-elect. She has undoubtedly paved the way for women of color to make a difference for our nation for generations to come.
“Over the past four years, Donald Trump has inflicted real harm upon our democracy, our planet, and the health and well-being of the American people. This year has brought with it extreme adversity, including a deadly pandemic, a stalled economy, in addition to renewed national calls for racial justice. It is our duty to come together to deliver pandemic relief, restart our economy, mend our democracy, tackle climate change, and heal our nation.
“In the 117th Congress and under the incoming Biden Administration, we have the opportunity to come together to deliver a better future for all Americans. The 2020 election represents a resounding mandate for change, and I stand ready to work with the new Administration, my colleagues in the House, and all who wish to join me from either side of the aisle, to deliver that change.”
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, via Twitter:
“Votes are still being counted in several states w. close elections. Before the press names a new President we should let legal & vote counting process continue & let the states certify their result. Then, & only then, will we know who will be sworn in as Pres. on January 20, 2021”
U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, via Twitter:
“Congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, who proved that facts matter, that science matters, and that decency matters. Let’s get to work.
State Senator Audrey Gibson, via Twitter:
“So filled with hope, promise, joy and tears! Congratulations to President Joe Biden & our history making Vice President Kamala Harris! The diversity of our country is our strength! Hallelujah!”
State Senator Gary Farmer, via Twitter:
“The national nightmare is over – hallelujah!!!”
State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, via Twitter:
Soul of America restored.
— Sen. José Javier Rodríguez (@JoseJavierJJR) November 7, 2020
Miami-Dade Mayor-elect Daniella Cava:
“I congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their election as the next President and Vice President of the United States, after an unprecedented election year with record voter turnout. Senator Harris has made her mark on history as the first Black woman elected as Vice President and will blaze a path for millions of girls who for the very first time will see a woman occupy our nation’s second highest post.
“I am confident that President Biden and Vice President Harris will lead us through this incredibly difficult time for our country by confronting and working to control the threat of coronavirus, and rebuild our economy stronger than before by lifting up and protecting our small businesses. After a long and contested election season, now is the time to come together as a community and country, and I look forward to working with the Biden administration on solutions and critical resources that will help Miami-Dade’s families and businesses overcome this crisis. It’s time to heal our nation and bring us together because we are one nation united by common purpose and our belief that together we can do more for each other.”
Florida Democratic Party chair Terrie Rizzo: