Democrat Darren Soto wins re-election in Florida's US House District 9 race


U.S. Rep. Darren Soto
  • U.S. Rep. Darren Soto
Democratic incumbent Rep. Darren Soto beat Republican nominee Wayne Liebnitzky in Congressional District 9 Tuesday night.

With most precincts reporting in Osceola, Orange and Polk counties, Soto held about 57 percent of the vote, according to early returns.

The 2018 midterms marked the second time the two faced off on the ballot.

In 2016, Soto beat incumbent Liebnitzky by 15 points, becoming the first person of Puerto Rican descent from Florida to be elected to Congress.

Soto has held public office since 2007, when he was elected to the Florida House. Following Hurricane María's devastating toll in September 2017, Soto earned praise for his efforts in helping Puerto Rican evacuees resettle throughout Central Florida.

Liebnitzky, a Central Florida resident for more than two decades, is a U.S. Navy veteran with a tech company based in St. Cloud. Earlier this year, he said he supported building President Donald Trump's campaign-promised border wall.

Congressional District 9 includes all of Osceola County and parts of Orange and Polk counties – the cradle for one of Central Florida's largest Hispanic populations.

This is breaking news. Check back here for updated totals.

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