Democratic challenger Gwen Graham has won the race to represent Florida’s second congressional district. Two-term Republican Congressman Steve Southerland sounded a disappointed but hopeful note in his concession speech.
As the election results for Florida’s second district solidified around a Graham victory, the mood in the Panama City ballroom where Southerland supporters had gathered slumped. From the outset, the campaign has been close and contentious. And in terms of being close it stayed that way – Graham won by only about three thousand votes. But, in his concession, Representative Southerland was gracious and humble.
“Y’all are a part of our campaign team. Thank you—thank you for allowing me to stand on your shoulders for the past five years. It has been a view that I will never ever forget," he said.
Southerland spoke flanked by his wife and four daughters, and pledged to do whatever he could to ensure a smooth transition for incoming representative Graham.