Florida's 2nd Congressional District: Dunn and Dartland set to face off in November

Published: Aug. 30, 2016 at 11:14 PM CDT
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The unofficial results are in for the race for Florida's 2nd Congressional District race for the U.S. House.

Neal Dunn won the republican nomination with 41 percent of the vote, beating out Mary Thomas, who received 39 percent, and Ken Sukhia with 19 percent.

The race was a close back and forth between Thomas and Dunn. However, the results became clear around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, and Thomas called Dunn to concede.

Although the press was invited to Thomas' event, all reporters and media were asked to leave after she called to concede the election. We caught up with her campaign manager, Matt Joiner, after the loss.

"Mary called and conceded to Dr. Neal Dunn tonight and she congratulated him on his victory," Joiner said. "She thanked her supporters for the hard work they put in. We are never going to stop fighting for conservative causes. That's all I have to say at this point."

Back in Panama City, Neal Dunn and his supporters were all smiles at their victory party.

"We're so grateful to the voters of the Second Congressional District for coming out and supporting us," Dunn said. "It means so much to be supported in that way. I can't thank them enough, and we are proud to be moving forward to represent those people in November."

On the other side of the aisle, the race for the Democratic nomination between Steve Crapps and Walter Dartland was even closer. Dartland won 50.1 percent of the vote, and Crapps ended the night with 49.9 percent.

While the votes were still coming in, we caught up with Dartland who talked about what he called the civility of their race, compared to the GOP primary.

"The issue was not about, you know, do I like, you know any kind of negative stuff about each other," said Dartland. "It was all positive, but we talked about the issues. That's what's important to the public.and that's what they need to know and be aware of."

Because the race was so close, there will be an automatic recount of the democratic primary votes on Wednesday. An automatic recount happens when candidates are separated by less than half a percent.

Now the race looks to November where Neal Dunn will likely face Walter Dartland.