TAMPA - Republican incumbent Ed Homan appeared poised to serve another term in Tallahassee as the state representative for District 60.
Late Tuesday night, Homan held a decisive lead over opposing Democrat Karen Perez, a political novice and social worker who lives in New Tampa.
But Homan refused to declare victory.
"I'm confident, but the very first time that I ran a race I was ahead until 2:30 in the morning," Homan said.
"I lost by 336 votes. We'll wait until all the precincts have been counted."
With about two-thirds of the precincts counted, Homan led 59 percent to 41 percent.
Homan, an orthopedic surgeon, described himself as the Legislature's "go-to guy" for health-care issues and used a six-figure war chest to outspend Perez.
If re-elected, he pledged to protect senior citizens' rights and reduce crime.
After winning the Democratic primary, Perez vowed to retake the seat her party narrowly lost in 2002. Despite early returns that indicated a Homan victory, Perez did not concede defeat.
"I'm excited, for a newcomer, at the numbers that I'm getting right now," said Perez, who campaigned as the representative of working and middle-class families. "I'm expecting to win. But only the numbers will tell."