Republican agriculture commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell conceded the election to Democrat Nikki Fried on Monday.
Fried posted the news on her official Twitter account on Monday.
I just got off the phone with my opponent @mattcaldwell_fl and he could not have been more gracious. I want to congratulate him on a close race and thank him for his willingness to step into the arena.
And to everyone who supported him, I will be your voice in Tallahassee too.
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) November 19, 2018
Caldwell released the following statement:
“As I have stated from the onset, I am uninterested in using legal loopholes to win an election. All I have ever expected since Election Day is a full and fair accounting of all legal votes cast, and then respecting the will of the voters. Unfortunately, as a result of the abject failures in Broward and Palm Beach, it has become clear that we may never gain an understanding of what transpired in the hours and days after polls closed, despite the exhaustive efforts of my legal team to get to the truth. To continue this legal challenge would likely require millions of dollars and months to complete without providing any more clarity.
“But even more so, the most impressive feature of our republic is the peaceful transfer of power. While history has vindicated that fraud was a serious part of the 1960 Presidential election, the Nation required closure and it would not be well served by prolonged and fractious litigation. The candidates set an example for our conduct and I believe the same is true about our State. Therefore, I will no longer be pursuing a challenge to the outcome of this race. Accordingly, I have called Nikki Fried and notified her of my decision to not pursue the matter any further and I have offered to assist her in any way I can as she takes the office of Commissioner.
“While I will not serve as Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, my campaign was not a loss. Every door knocked, every mile traveled, and every new hand shaken in every corner of the state, has emphasized the immediate and tangible needs of our state’s farmers, workers, small business owners, and consumers.
“Thank you all for the privilege. God Bless you and may God continue to bless the Great State of Florida.”