DeSantis and Gillum set for Florida showdown after primary wins

Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis win primaries for Florida gubernatorial race

Andrew Gillum narrowly wins Democratic nomination for Florida governor

During an interview on Fox News, DeSantis praised Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, as "an articulate spokesman" for those holding "far-left views", but warned he would be damaging to the state. "Floridians want a leader who will bring them together; Ron DeSantis has shown that he would only divide Florida". "Not misogynist, not racist, not bigots, they're going to be looking for a governor who is going to appeal to our higher aspirations as a state".

President Donald Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis on Monday. "That's not going to work, that's not going to be good for Florida." he added.

Democrats quickly criticized DeSantis' comments and accused him of racism.

The DeSantis campaign clarified that his comments were directed at Gillum's policies, not the candidate himself. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd", Stephen Lawson, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, said in response to the backlash.

DeSantis beat out Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the preferred choice of more moderate, establishment Republicans, to secure the GOP nomination.

Democrat senior writer Jeff Burlew, who has extensively reported on the corruption scandal, explained the looming cloud of this investigation has come at a cost.

While Gillum-who is now the mayor of Tallahassee-lacked the institutional backing and huge personal wealth of his Democratic opponents, he overcame this cash deficit with a massive surge in voter turnout, which was attributed to his unwavering embrace of popular policies like Medicare for All and raising the minimum wage.

If Democrats can pull of a victory in November in the Sunshine State, it would likely be considered a significant blow to Trump and the Republicans ahead of the 2020 presidential race.

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But in his plea deal , Cohen explicitly says he did so at Trump's direction with the intention of influencing the 2016 election. But Flake, who is retiring from the Senate and is often critical of Trump, said he thinks the president will hold off.

If elected, Gillum would be Florida's first black governor.

Florida voters now face one of the starkest choices of the 2018 election season that will see plenty of stark choices in plenty of states.

"I changed my vote when Trump supported DeSantis", said the 67-year-old retiree from Pinellas County.

DeSantis first won a northeastern Florida seat in Congress in 2012. He also ran for Senate in 2016 but dropped out when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio shut down his presidential campaign and ran for re-election. He endorsed Gillum and delivered a shot of positive publicity by holding two rallies for him 11 days before the primary. His television ads were Trump-focused, including one where his toddler stacks bricks while DeSantis exclaims, "Build the wall!" At FiveThirtyEight, Nathaniel Rakich says, correctly I think, that Democrats may be hurting in the general election if Gillum takes down Graham. He was backed by Bernie Sanders and spent millions less than his better-funded opponents, including former Congressmember Gwen Graham-the daughter of Bob Graham, the former governor and senator. Orlando-area businessman Chris King finished last. After holding the post for ten years, he was elected mayor of the city in 2014.

The Associated Press called the races for Gillum and DeSantis by approximately 9:15 p.m., Eastern time.

Gillum got straight to the issues in his victory speech in Tallahassee. Following the tweet, Trump also campaigned for DeSantis and his Senate race counterpart, Gov. Rick Scott, in Tampa in late July.

What we have here, I think, is really a case of a narrative taking off because of its sheer irresistibility than one that makes sense on the political merits.

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