(CNN) — Republican David Jolly won Tuesday's special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District.
He will fill out the term of his former boss, longtime Republican Rep. Bill Young, who died in October.
Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink, who conceded the race more than an hour after the polls closed.
The outcome does not change anything for Democrats in their calculus for retaking the House in next November's midterms. They still need to pick up 17 seats.
Political handicappers consider that a tall order, considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts nationwide.
Jolly served as a former general counsel for Young and also worked as a lobbyist.
"Tonight brings an end to this election," a victorious Jolly told supporters. "Tomorrow provides the opportunity for us to embark together on a new journey of representation here in Pinellas County."
Sink, the former Florida Chief Financial Officer, narrowly lost the 2010 gubernatorial election to Rick Scott.
She conceded the contest more than an hour after the polls closed, expressing pride in her campaign and thanking volunteers and supporters.
"I have congratulated David Jolly and wish him the best success in representing the voices of Pinellas in Congress," she said.
Florida-13 is a swing district in a swing state. It covers most of Pinellas County between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, including parts of St. Petersburg.
While Young captured 58% of the vote in his 2012 re-election, President Barack Obama narrowly carried the district in his 2008 and 2012 victories.
The district has one of highest concentration of senior voters in the nation.
While the candidates and local matters weighed heavily in the race, Obamacare was also a key issue in the election.
While a contest this far out from the midterms rarely offers a preview of what will actually happen in November, the election was seen by some pundits as a potential bellwether.
There was a massive infusion of outside ad money into the race to try to influence the outcome.
Dueling congressional campaign committees fired off reaction after the results came in with their versions of what Jolly's win means for the midterms.
The National Republican Congressional Committee said the results are referendum on the effects of the Democratic agenda and Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are campaigning fiercely against.
"Tonight, one of Nancy Pelosi's most prized candidates was ultimately brought down because of her unwavering support for Obamacare, and that should be a loud warning for other Democrats running coast to coast," said NRCC chairman Greg Walden.
The Democratic Congressional Committee congratulated Sink's campaign, highlighting her efforts in a historically Republican district and pushed back on the results as a bellwether for the midterm elections.
"Democrats will fight for FL-13 in the midterm when the electorate is far less heavily tilted toward Republicans. Despite those millions from Republican outside groups, they underperformed because the only message they offered voters - repealing the ACA - is out of touch and failed to bring them even close to their historically wide margins," said the group's chairman, Rep. Steve Israel.
-- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.
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