MIAMI (WSVN) - Katherine Fernandez Rundle has declared herself elected to her eighth consecutive term as Miami-Dade State Attorney after defeating Melba Pearson in Florida’s primary election.

Fernandez Rundle, the state’s first Cuban American state attorney, claimed victory over Pearson at around 8:30 p.m., Tuesday.

With most precincts reporting their results as of 10 p.m., Fernandez Rundle has a large lead over Pearson, her former employee, with 61% of the vote.

“We were validated in terms of what we do and what we stand for,” Fernandez Rundle said. “The principles, our guiding light and everything we do for this community, I am so proud. I am so grateful.”

The state attorney has faced recent criticism over her record when it comes to prosecuting police officers.

Despite many Black Lives Matter supporters rallying against her, Fernandez Rundle will keep the position she has held for nearly three decades. She first took office in 1993.

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