State Senator Jeff Brandes took his opponent to the woodshed. Brandes has pulled in more than 57 percent of the vote with McLauchlan bringing in 43 percent.
The race between the incumbent Republican and the aspiring Democrat saw some of the highest levels of outside funding of any statewide contest. Brandes pulled in more than $815,000. Much of that came directly from the Republican Party of Florida. McLauchlan pulled in just $307,733.
“I am humbled by this strong support and vote of confidence from our community,” Brandes said in a victory statement.. “Together we have championed innovative public policy that will improve the State of Florida. I am excited to get back to work so that Florida will be the number one state for job creation, and the best to raise a family.”
The two campaigned against one another on largely partisan issues. Brandes painted McLauchlan as a tax and spend liberal who supports President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. McLauchlan criticized Brandes for failing to support Medicaid expansion and for accepting contributions from Duke Energy. The utility giant has come under fire for collecting $3.2 billion from ratepayers for two nuclear projects that were cancelled.