FLORIDA — Donald Trump edged his Democratic rival in a Florida election on Monday by only about 5,000 votes, giving him a narrow victory and giving Democrats a big boost in a state where they have struggled to make gains in recent years.
The race was close in many precincts, with Trump up about 6,000 in Palm Beach County and Democrat Brad Johnson down about 5 and 3,000 at the state’s biggest city.
But Johnson won most of the state.
Trump’s victory came as the race was in a tight spot in Florida, which had been considered a toss-up since former President George W. Bush won it in 2000.
The race has been competitive since Florida Gov.
Rick Scott, a Republican, announced he would not seek reelection in 2018.
“We’re very excited for Brad Johnson, and we’re very confident that he’s going to win this election,” Trump said in a campaign event here Monday afternoon.
“We’re going to make a very big difference in this election.”
Johnson was endorsed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a conservative Republican.
He has been an outspoken critic of Trump and has repeatedly called for his impeachment.
Johnson won by about 7,000, according to Florida’s Board of Elections, but he has struggled to build a national campaign infrastructure, which has left him struggling to raise money.
That is a key issue for Democrats.
The Florida vote is also one of the few contests in the South that will determine control of the U.S. Senate in the November election.
Republicans control both chambers of Congress, and Democrats hold only a slim majority in the state Senate.
Trump and Johnson are both Republicans, but they both had faced criticism for their stances on immigration, gay rights and other issues.
Johnson’s record has included some hard-line positions on immigration and immigration enforcement.
Johnson had raised nearly $9 million from June through October, according the FEC.
Trump has raised $6.5 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.