Duval County Republicans are celebrating the victories of Republican Senator Marco Rubio and President-elect Donald Trump.
At a downtown hotel Tuesday evening, Republicans filled a large ballroom with cardboard cutouts of Rubio and Trump on stage, while Fox News broadcasted returns. It was the Duval County Republican watch party.
Rubio retained his Senate seat early in the evening. Fernandina Beach State Senator Aaron Bean said he voted for Rubio when he was a presidential primary candidate.
“We need seniority in the congress and he gives us that,” Bean said. “He gives us an experience, outlook and of course he’s one of the most dynamic speakers.”
Eyes soon turned to watching the tight Trump-Clinton race. A nailbiter was what 18-year-old Adam Rhoads called the race before any key states were called.
“Excitement and positive vibes is what we really need right now,” he said.
Soon, Trump took Duval County and North Carolina, both victories met with loud cheers. Trump then took Florida, which was met with screams, and chants for Trump.
Duval Republican Party Chair Cindy Graves said Trump earned the narrow victory in the county.
“It is the biggest phenomenon of anything I’ve ever done in politics,” she said. “He crosses every single socioeconomic barrier. He crosses all races. It is amazing.”
Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at email@example.com, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.