But Democrat Christine Hallquist lost her bid to become the first openly transgender USA governor in Vermont, where Republican incumbent Phil Scott won re-election.
Both Abrams and Gillum hoped to become the first African-American governors in Georgia and Florida, southern states with legacies of racial division, and where Democrats have not held the state leadership position in over a decade.
During his victory speech, DeSantis noted the national attention focused on the race, saying the "political and media classes" had been eager to write his political obituary. When those machine recounts indicate the margin is less than a quarter of 1 percent, it automatically triggers a manual recount.
On the Senate side, fundamentals have pointed strongly toward a Nelson win for a while.
Republican Ron DeSantis will defeat Democrat Andrew Gillum in the battle to be Florida's next governor, Fox News projects. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported.
The campaign hired attorney Barry Richard, who represented the Bush campaign during the contentious 2000 presidential election in Florida, who was "monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount", Cervone said.
"I still plan to be on the front lines alongside every one of you when it comes to standing up and fighting for what we believe in", Gillum, the 39-year-old mayor of Tallahassee, told supporters at his election night party, where small groups of people embraced, tears streaming down their faces.
The race for governor is the state's most visible contest this year. Any recount would probably begin Monday.
November 16 - Overseas and military mail-in ballots are counted.
Overseas ballots must be received by November 16 and have an Election Day postmark, based on Florida election rules.
Five takeaways from Michigan's 2018 midterm election
Results elsewhere speak to changes underway in other states that traditionally figure into the competition in presidential races. But is this similar to the " shellacking " that Democrats got during the Obama administration's first midterms vote in 2010? No.
Provisional ballots are given to voters because their eligibility to vote is challenged for some reason - perhaps they have an address discrepancy, or they forgot their ID. That means as many as 50,000 votes have yet to be counted.
Update: Marco Rubio's steamed about how Broward and Palm Beach counties are handling their responsibilities.
"I think it's fair to say right now the results of the 2018 Senate election are unknown, and [media] and elections officials should treat it as such", Elias said, adding anyone who cast a provisional ballot should confirm their votes with their county elections office. And just because we didn't always come out victorious we didn't retreat.
"Voters in white working-class areas are becoming more conservative - and hard-line conservative - and more Republican-aligned", Isbell said". "Right now, nobody knows".
Some counties, however, are closing its doors on staffers seeking public records, stymieing the only resource available to identify voters who cast provisional ballots.
Absolutely not, Pasco Supervisor Brian Corley responded.
After winning the Republican nomination largely on the strength of Trump's endorsement, DeSantis turned to Trump's top 2016 Florida strategist to jump-start his general campaign when it stalled in September. Over votes are ballots in which scanners detected that voters marked more than one choice for Senate. "Let's bring this home", he said, echoing Gillum's campaign refrain.
Scott repeatedly hit the theme that Nelson was a confused, do-nothing senator who has made a career in Washington toeing the party line.
"There are simply not enough ballots out there to change the election", he told Bouldan on CNN.
Broward County turnout went from 44 to 57 percent since the last midterm election.