MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In one of the tightest political races in recent memory, Republican Ileana Garcia was declared the winner of her race with Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez Thursday afternoon after a hand recount for Florida Senate District 37.
A machine recount found a difference of just 21 votes between Republican Ileana Garcia and Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez.
In a statement, Senator-elect Garcia writes:
“I’m deeply humbled by the final outcome of this election. I’m committed to take to Tallahassee the concerns of the residents of District 37 and I will work diligently on their behalf to make the American Dream a possibility for every hard-working family in our community.”
According to Miami-Dade Elections Department spokeswoman Suzy Trutie, a machine recount for vote-by-mail and Election Day ballots was completed on Tuesday. A machine recount is triggered if the vote difference is one-half of one percent (0.5%).
A machine recount for early voting happened on Wednesday.
Since the vote difference was less than one-quarter of one percent (0.25%) it triggered the hand recount.
Jose Javier Rodriguez has held the State Senate seat since 2016.
Garcia is a former Department of Homeland Security deputy press secretary in the Trump administration. She also founded Latinas for Trump.
The district represents areas including Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest.