(CNN) – Republican Rick Scott has won Florida's governorship after Democratic rival Alex Sink conceded the tight race Wednesday morning.
With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Scott led by more than 53,000 votes out of more than 5 million cast, a 49-48 percent margin. Sink, the state's chief financial officer, said she and her advisers saw "no path to victory" in the outstanding count.
"I have just called Rick Scott to congratulate him," Sink told supporters in Tampa. "And I told him that especially with a very close election, he will have to work very hard to bring our state together. Because for the future of our state, I hope Rick Scott remembers that there are two and half million Floridians who do not vote for him, and that his highest priority has to be to bring our state together."
There was no immediate response from Scott, who came to national prominence by attacking the Obama administration's health-care overhaul in a series of nationally televised ads. The 57-year-old former health-care executive won the GOP nomination by beating state Attorney General Bill McCollum, who was backed by Florida and national establishment Republicans, in a bitter primary that saw Scott spending nearly $50 million of his own money.
During the campaign, Sink hit hard at Scott's tenure as head of the hospital corporation Columbia/HCA, which paid $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud under his stewardship. In their final debate, he deflected questions about his leadership of the company and accused Sink, the former president of NationsBank, of supervising employees who used deceptive sales practices to direct senior citizens into high-risk investments in exchange for kickbacks. The institution, which has since merged with Bank of America, was fined $6.7 million for its deceptive practices.