Rep. Kendrick Meek gave a composed concession speech to Republican wunderkind Marco Rubio in front of an anemic crowd of 100 supporters at the Rusty Pelican on Virginia Key.
Appearing alongside his mother, former Rep. Carrie Meek, his sister, wife and two kids, Meek congratulated the incoming senator for attaining a victory that he said "no one could foresee a few years ago."
"From some who came from the outside to come inside to take the type of commanding lead he had a month ago is to be commended,'' Meek said.
Meek also said he had "charitable words" with Gov. Charlie Crist, whose decision to run as an independent likely grabbed voters who would have otherwise voted for Crist.
"The governor and I didn't see eye-to-eye,'' he said. "In fact, I think he did bring about some confusion about where he stood [on issues]. But this campaign is over. The people have spoken."
Meek said he hasn't given much thought to what he''ll do next - aside from fishing and spending time with his family. The campaign was tough to win in this political climate, he said, given the anti-Incumbent, red tide sweeping across the country's political landscape.
"I feel that we put on the best race we could in these circumstances,'' Meek said, adding that "Rubio achieved a "victory we did not see a couple years ago."
--- ROBERT SAMUELS