JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Republican congressional candidate Ted Yoho defeated Democratic challenger JR Gaillot for the U.S. House District 3 seat.
Yoho gathered 65 percent of the vote to win the race. He said after his victory he plans to work across the aisle to get things done in Congress.
"That's the only way to fix this," he said. "You know, we can't say, 'The Republicans have got to beat the Democrats, and the Democrats don't have to beat the Republicans. Because if we focus on that, who is focusing on the country."
The year began with four Republicans, a Democrat, a candidate with no party affiliation and two write-in candidates vying for Florida's redrawn and re-branded 3rd Congressional District.
Eleven-term incumbent Cliff Stearns was upset by Yoho, a Gainesville veterinarian, in the Republican primary in the district that was moved a little further toward west and south in redistricting earlier this year.
The district no longer covers Jacksonville's Westside or Baker County. The new district picks up most of Clay and Bradford counties and includes Columbia and Union counties, then stretches to the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, Republican Ron DeSantis took the newly created 6th Congressional District over Democrat Heather Beaven.
"I ran because I thought our country was stuck in a rut. I thought people in Washington really didn't appreciate the founding principles of our country, and they were really taking us in a direction that the founding fathers never intended," DeSantis said. "My job is to serve the people who have elected me. I am not better than people just because I'm going to have an office in Congress."
The district -- much of which used to be represented by Republican Rep. John Mica -- was one of two new Congressional districts created during the redistricting process as a result of the 2010 Census. The district includes all of St. Johns an much of Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties.
In two other congressional races in north Florida, incumbent Republican Ander Crenshaw held onto his District 4 seat, defeating Jim Klauder, while Democratic incumbent Corrine Brown retained her District 5 seat over Republican LeAnne Kolb and Eileen Fleming.