Jacksonville, FL - As soon as the polls closed at 7 PM there was a steady stream of supporters that started rolling in to the conference room in the Hyatt Downtown where Aaron Bean is holding his election night gathering.
They are met with a buffet, open bar and lots of red, white and blue with the room decked out in balloons and “Aaron Bean for Florida Senate” signs.
Although the atmosphere is started calm, it slowly picked up as more people filed in an we got closer to election results.
As those results started coming in, one the most crowded spots- second only maybe to the buffet- was in front of a large projection screen posting the results for Nassau and Duval County. At one point there was actually jockeying over the projection screen for which results should be displayed. Originally, Nassau and the state numbers were on display, but the screen was quickly taken over by attempts to load the Duval numbers.
I was standing in the hallways as the entourage approached once the results were in. Senator John Thrasher, Senator Stephen Wise, Representative Lake Ray and others stood beside Bean and were applauding as he walked down the hallway to a room full of supporters who, likewise, met him with cheers, howls and applause.
Bean worked his way to the podium and could not thank enough people. He called up the “Bean Sprouts”- or his children- to stand beside them and actually spent a lot of time touting all their recent accomplishments before moving on to his own.
One of the biggest thank you’s Bean had to offer was to Nassau County which came out to vote in much larger than expected numbers and voted for him by a larger margin than the campaign originally expected.
Even now, supporters are filing out but the noise has not abated. The Bean campaign is taking a few days off before hitting the campaign trail hard on the road to November.
He says the win here today is like the Olympics- he has won the heat and is now moving to the finals.