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Congressional Candidate Steve Southerland Claims Victory Over Al Lawson


Florida Congressman Steve Southerland has won a second term in office, beating out Democratic challenger Al Lawson.

By 10 Tuesday night, many already knew Lawson had already lost the race when he walked into his own Watch Party at the Mint Lounge in Downtown Tallahassee. But, a crowd of supporters cheered him on anyway, before he conceded.

Credit Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM
Al Lawson gives his concession speech Tuesday night with his wife by his side at this watch party at the Mint Lounge in Downtown Tallahassee.

“It was a great fight, and that’s what our Democracy is all about," said Lawson. "And, I recognize the fact that the people have spoken, and while it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, it is my sincere hope that Congressman [Steve] Southerland will serve north Florida and the 113 session of the U.S. Congress with honor and dignity.”

“In the field of athletics, you win some and you lose some, and you go on, bounce back, and that’s what I expect to do.”

The Congressional race between the former Senator and incumbent Steve Southerland was not amicable. It included negative campaign ads and each candidate made negative comments against the other. But, by Election night, both said they will let bygones be bygones.

“It was a spirited campaign.," remarked Southerland. "And, it’s one that he gave me a great battle, and I’m excited it’s over and I’m ready to get back to work, and to start solving these challenges that we face.”

Meanwhile, filled with emotion at his victory, Southerland says it’s now time to go back to Washington D.C. and do what the citizens of Florida re-elected him to do.

“I think they showed they appreciate the effort we’re giving, hard work, honest dealings, serving them in a way that we would want to be served," said Southerland. "So, I just say thank you to them for giving me a second term, and I’m so appreciative.”

Southerland won 53 percent of the vote to Lawson’s 47 percent, meaning Lawson lost by about 19,000 votes in the Florida panhandle district of House District 2.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.