ORLANDO, Fla. — Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, but the U.S. Senate will remain in Republican hands, possibly with a wider lead.


Republicans widened their lead in the U.S. Senate Tuesday, picking up at least three Democratic seats in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri.

The Florida Senate race is too close to call, but Sen. Bill Nelson (D) acknowledged that multiple media reports called the race for Republican challenger Rick Scott, who declared himself the winner before midnight. 

Nelson's campaign says he will make a full statement Wednesday.


The Democrats overtook the Republicans in the race for the U.S. House before midnight with several big wins in white suburban districts in Virginia, Texas and the Midwest.

The Dems overtook the 218 seat threshold to control the House with a slim majority. 

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi is poised to become House Speaker again.

Even with their past rocky relationship, President Trump is endorsing her for the job.

“I give her a lot of credit, she has worked very hard, and she has worked long and hard. I give her a great deal of credit of what she has done, and what she has accomplished. Hopefully we can all work together next year to continue delivering for the American people,” said President Donald Trump.  

"I had a conversation with President Trump about how we could work together. One of the issues that came up was part of our 'for the people' agenda,” said Rep Nancy Pelosi, (D) Minority Leader.

Pelosi is promising to strive for bipartisanship. Already she and the President feel they can work together to better infrastructure…

“I hope that we can achieve that. He talked about it during his campaign and really didn't come through with it in his first two years in office. But, that issue has not been a partisan issue in the Congress of the United States,” said Pelosi.

In Florida, Democrats picked up two Republican seats in South Florida. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala beat Maria Elvira Salazar in an open seat for U.S. House district 27. 

Meanwhile Debbie Mucarsel-Powell unseated the Republican incumbent, Carlos Curbelo, in Florida House district 26.

Here in our area, we had several heavily-watched races, but in the end the balance of power did not change. 

U.S. House District 6 Race: Michael Waltz (R) Wins Over Nancy Soderberg (D)

7:57 p.m., November 06, 2018

Republican Michael Waltz wins Ron DeSantis' old district, U.S. House District 6, which includes Flagler and Volusia counties. 

The seat was formerly owned by Gov.-elect DeSantis.

The district has been in Republican control since 1989, and will stay that way under Waltz. The Republican candidate is a Florida native and lists himself as a combat-decorated Green Beret, a small business owner, and a former FOX News contributor.

"I'm a proud dad, I want an America where, [my daughter] as a young woman, to think that the sky is the limit," Waltz said.

Waltz defeated Nancy Soderberg, who worked for former President Bill Clinton as National Security Council staff director.

U.S. House District 7 Race: Stephanie Murphy (D) Defeats Mike Miller (R)

7:48 p.m., Tuedsay, November 06, 2018

Incumbent Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who represents part of Orange County, wins re-election. 

The Democratic U.S. congresswoman has been reaching across the aisle to get bills through the House, and she is hoping to accomplish more in the next term.

“I’ve been frustrated under the Republican controlled Congress at not being able to debate some bipartisan bills that matter to my constituents, whether they were bills on finding a durable solution for dreamers, or fixing healthcare in a meaningful way, or addressing infrastructure or other things," Murphy said. "They just didn’t get a chance to have a moment on the floor.”

Murphy beat Mike Miller, a former Florida state representative. 

U.S. House District 9 Race: Wayne Liebnitzky Loses To Darren Soto (D)

7:51 p.m., Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Associated Press projects that Rep. Darren Soto, the incumbent Democrat for Osceola County and part of Polk County, wins re-election. 

Soto once again beat challenger Wayne Liebnitzky for U.S. House district 9.

“While there’s many issues but the first and foremost is always higher paying jobs and higher wages," Soto said about the issues he wanted to tackle next term. "Because the rest can sort itself out -- affordable housing, affordable healthcare, education if people are making more money a lot of these things are able to be resolved.” 

House District 12: Gus Bilirakis (R) Defeats Chris Hunter (D)

7:53 p.m., Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Associated Press says Republican incumbent Gus Bilirakis, who represents parts of Pasco and Pinellas counties, has won re-election. 

The six-term Republican congressman defeated Democratic challenger Chris Hunter.

The district includes all of Pasco and northern sections of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

House District 15: Ross Spano (R) beats Kristen Carlson (D)

The district covering Polk and Hillsborough counties will remain in Republican hands, after Ross Spano beat Kristen Carlson.

District 15 covers parts of Hillsborough and Polk counties, including Brandon, Plant City, and Lakeland.

Spano wants to protect the unborn and vows to eliminate government funding of Planned Parenthood.

According to his website, he vows to protect gun owners' constitutional right to bear arms and will "strive to make life easier for law abiding gun owners." He also says he would vote to fully repeal Obamacare if elected.

House District 16: Vern Buchanan (R) Beats David Shapiro (D)

8:24 p.m., Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Republican incumbent Vern Buchanan wins re-election.

Even before the August primary, Vern Buchanan was airing attack ads that targeted David Shapiro, who received support from national Democrats until a few weeks before the election.

Buchanan recently was a key voice behind a proposal to reduce opioid addiction. The bill, signed in late October by President Donald Trump, creates a national database providing information to patients who want to manage pain without addictive opioids.

Buchanan is serving his sixth term and bills himself as a "strong fiscal conservative." He has had 14 bills signed into law by presidents Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

The district represents parts of Sarasota, Manatee, and Hillsborough counties.

Information from reporter Erin Murray contributed to this report.