Politics & Government

Kendrick Meek, Marco Rubio win Florida Senate primaries

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek defeated billionaire rival Jeff Greene on Tuesday to win Florida's U.S. Democratic Senate nomination, the Associated Press reported shortly after polls closed.

As of about 8 p.m., Meek received 266,960 or 54.5 percent of 489,384 votes cast, while Greene, who spent about $25 million on his campaign, had collected 160,541 votes.

A victory makes Meek the first black Senate nominee from Florida and the only major black Senate candidate nationwide.

He will go on to face Republican nominee Marco Rubio, and Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent.

In the Republican Senate contest, Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker, was declared the winner by AP, far outpacing rivals William Escoffery III and William Billy Kogut.

Rubio collected 664,158 or 84.3 percent of 787,122 total votes cast as of 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Republican primary for governor was shaping up as a closer match, with Attorney General Bill McCollum leading rival Rick Scott in Miami-Dade, but Scott taking a narrow lead in Broward.

McCollum gathered 31,349 absentee ballots and early votes in Miami-Dade while Scott garnered 13,995.

In Broward, however, with one of 779 precincts reporting, Scott held a slight edge over McCollum, collecting 7,914 votes compared to 7,616 for McCollum, from a total 16,794 votes reported.

The Democratic primary for governor, however, was not as close, with Alex Sink collecting 25,659 absentee ballots and early votes in Miami-Dade, compared to 8,907 for rival Brian P. Moore.

In Broward, Sink also held an early lead. With one of 779 precincts reporting, sink had 22,538 votes, compared to 5,727 for rival Brian P. Moore.

Follow this story at MiamiHerald.com