Buchanan defeats Fitzgerald in District 16 race

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SARASOTA - Incumbent Republican Vern Buchanan has secured his fourth term in Congress in the District 16 race.

Democratic challenger Keith Fitzgerald released a statement Tuesday evening congratulating Buchanan on his re-election.

“Our country has a long history of patriotically rallying together and supporting our political leaders after an election. I hope Vern Buchanan will work across the aisle in Congress and with the president to get our country moving forward again,” says Fitzgerald.

Buchanan had received 54% of the vote, Tuesday.  By comparison, in 2010 he won with 69% of the vote.

“I look forward to getting back to work next week, in terms of lame duck. And then in terms of next year, we’ve really got to find a way to work together,” says Buchanan.

In front of a packed ballroom at the Hyatt in Sarasota Tuesday night, Buchanan told supporters that creating jobs is his number one priority. “We got 23 million people out of work. Let’s focus on helping small business, create more jobs, and also we got to do something about our financial situation in terms of our debt and deficits. We’ve got to work on downsizing some of those deficits.”

The race was at times very contentious. Buchanan came under fire for a number of ethics investigations this year.