By 9pm on Tuesday (Nov 6, U.S. time), the Democrats' best hope for wresting the governorship away from the Republicans, outgoing Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, was losing by one percentage point to his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis.
His victory comes after a heated campaign to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is term-limited.
In Kansas, Democrat Laura Kelly defeated Kris Kobach, a staunch Trump ally, where outgoing Republican Governor Sam Brownback suffered from low approval ratings.
The Florida race in particular appeared to be coming down to the wire. FiveThirtyEight predictions had showed Gillum 4.2 percent ahead of DeSantis on Election Day. "Maybe 80,000 people will wake up and say, 'OK, we didn't vote the last time'".
In the backdrop, ethics scandals involving both candidates drove campaign narrative, though Gillum's was more affected. But Republicans, including Trump, made an effort to tie Gillum and his record to the federal investigation.
But he stumbled early when he warned electing Mr Gillum would "monkey this up".
Democratic Party officials, who have accused Kemp of trying to suppress the minority vote, quickly denied the charge.
Backed by the Florida GOP, DeSantis went after Gillum for overseeing Tallahassee while the FBI conducts an ongoing public investigation into the city government there.More news: The Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes makes all Kepler data publicly available
Ron DeSantis was a blatant liar, chummy with racists and refused to return money to a donor who called Barack Obama a "Muslim n***er. Let the chips fall where they may". There's a slight lead among Democrats, right?
Democrats selected a candidate who was once considered a long shot, arguably the most progressive to ever run for statewide office and the only African-American gubernatorial candidate in the state's history.
DeSantis, who attended Yale University and Harvard Law School, resigned his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in September to focus exclusively on his gubernatorial bid.
Ron DeSantis is the Governor-elect of Florida, after a hard-fought campaign based on his sterling biography and embrace of Trumpian populism. In some states, a governor's power to sign or veto congressional maps could decide the partisan balance. Scott is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. "If he can't keep the city of Tallahassee safe, he can't keep the citizens of the state of Florida safe".
Republicans were eyeing a potential pickup in CT, traditionally a Democratic state, where the contest was too close to call on Wednesday morning. " This is a man who now be governor of the Sunshine State".
In Georgia, Abrams, 44, was locked in a tight battle with Republican Brian Kemp, the state's secretary of state. The presence of a third-party candidate on the ballot makes that possibility more likely.