"This district has proven tonight that they want a conservative candidate; they want a family candidate. They want a candidate who will fight for the Second Amendment and defend life. And they want someone who will help us recover from Hurricane Michael -- so we can rebuild stronger and better than ever. They want someone who will bring vocational training back to our schools so our kids can build careers," Shoaf said to his supporters following Watkins' concession.
"I want to thank my wife, Ashley, and my children. Thanks to all the volunteers and supporters. This was a team effort," Shoaf continued. "I look forward to brining the people of North Florida together, and bringing our North Florida values to the Florida House!"
Leading up to tonight's vote, the talk of the race was both Shoaf and Watkins. Both men attempted to solidify themselves as the true "conservative candidate" throughout the race. Shoaf ran on a his conservative roots, and his lifelong commitment to the district. Watkins took a more aggressive approach by painting the Port St. Joe native as a lifelong Democrat.
Watkins' message, however, didn't stick. Shoaf's win was nothing short of a landslide victory. He won 7 out of the 10 counties, receiving over 50 percent of the votes in Gulf and Wakulla County -- two counties with the highest active registered voters.
Following the win, Shoaf took to Facebook to thank his supporters.
With the win, Shoaf will now take on Democrat Ryan Terrell in the upcoming general special election that will be held on June 18.
As it stands, the unofficial results have Shoaf with 4,708 votes (48.95%), with Watkins coming in second with 2,618 votes (27.26%). Bell had a strong showing with 1,876 (19.55%), and Fuller netted 408 votes (4.24%).
To view the election results, click HERE.
In the future, we invite both candidates to sit down with RoundTable Politics to discuss critical issues facing the district.