Marco Rubio defeats Patrick Murphy, re-elected to U.S. Senate

Rubio to return to Washington after failed bid for presidency

MIAMI – Marco Rubio defeated Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy in Tuesday's election to retain his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Rubio had 52 percent of the vote to Murphy's 44 percent.

Rubio was a Republican presidential candidate, but he dropped out of the race after Trump soundly defeated him in Florida's presidential primary.

Initially, Rubio said he would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate, but he changed his mind in June.

"I want to thank the people of this extraordinary state for giving me another opportunity to continue to serve them in the United States Senate," Rubio said.

Rubio has been criticized by Murphy for standing by Trump in the presidential election, despite calling him a con man. Rubio has said that there is too much at stake to let Hillary Clinton return to the White House. After announcing his intentions, Rubio said another Clinton presidency "would be a repeat of the early years of the current administration."

Murphy received endorsements from Clinton and President Barack Obama, but it was not enough to overtake the incumbent.

"The people of Florida have spoken, and at the end of the day, I respect their choice," Murphy told supporters during his concession speech in Palm Beach Gardens.

Murphy, who had to give up his seat in Congress to run for Senate, hasn't said what he'll do next.

Rubio has said he would, "God-willing," serve a full term in the Senate.


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