HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) - Rep. Kendrick Meek is the Democratic nominee for Senate, overcoming billionaire Jeff Greene's massive television and mail onslaught to win a bitter Florida primary.
If he wins again in November, Meek will be the state's first black senator.
Meek was outspent by an estimated 5-to-1 ratio and at one point fell behind in the polls after Greene entered the race on the last possible day and began flooding the state with television ads.
The race was often nasty, with Greene calling Meek corrupt and Meek saying Greene bet against Floridians when he made investments that earned him hundreds of millions of dollars in the housing market's collapse.
Meek will now face Republican Marco Rubio and independent Gov. Charlie Crist in the general election.
In one of the closest races of the night, political novice Rick Scott pushed past veteran Bill McCollum to win Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday.
Heading into the midterm election season, McCollum was predicted to cruise through the primary and claim the right to take on Democrat Alex Sink, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, in the state's general election. That expectation was challenged, however, when Scott made a late jump into the mix with the intention of spending massive sums of his personal wealth on his electoral pursuit.
Dropping $39 million in what has been dubbed the "50 million primary," Scott has relentlessly hammered McCollum with negative ads and vicious attacks. The former health care exec recently charged the state AG with being the "Tonya Harding of Florida politics" and in one television spot suggested voters should throw McCollum out like a baby's dirty diaper.
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