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Darren Soto Elected First Puerto Rican Congressman From Florida

Darren Soto.John Hilton / darrensoto.com
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By Brian Latimer

Darren Soto has been elected to Florida's 9th Congressional District, making him the first Puerto Rican from Florida in Congress.

RELATED: Florida's Latinos Vote Tuesday in House, Senate, Local Primary Races

Soto defeated Wayne Liebnitzky, who ran for the Republican party. Soto received about 58 percent of the vote and Liebnitzky received about 42 percent — 189,735 to 140,307 respectively. Almost four-in-10 people in the district are Puerto Rican.

Florida 9th Congressional District election 2016 results.

Soto previously held a seat in the state legislature representing the 14th district.

RELATED: Darren Soto Closer to being Florida's First Puerto Rican in Congress

According to NBC News reporter Kerry Sanders, salsa music was playing at a watch party in his heavily Hispanic district and where he celebrated with his supporters.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee congratulated Soto for his historic win in a statement.

"While serving as a state legislator, Soto made his mark as a progressive leader by working on initiatives to improve education and healthcare, and protect our environment," the statement reads. "In Congress, Darren will continue to be a champion for Florida’s working families. I greatly look forward to working with Darren to address the issues facing Florida and the country.”

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Brian Latimer

Brian Latimer is an Associate Segment Producer with MSNBC Weekends.