Gillum will now square off with DeSantis in what will be viewed as a referendum on Trump in a battle to replace Scott, who easily won his primary battle Tuesday for the Republican nomination to challenge Bill Nelson, a moderate Democrat, for his USA senate seat. His backing helped push DeSantis past Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who has held elected office in Florida since 1996, quickly built up establishment support and raised millions of dollars.
Fox News distanced itself from DeSantis' comment, made about 12 hours after Gillum pulled off a historic upset to become Florida's first black major-party gubernatorial nominee.
DeSantis's campaign rejected the insinuation, saying that the candidate's remarks had nothing to do with Gillum's race and everything to do with his politics.
DeSantis won his primary by touting his closeness to Trump. Asked whether he thinks Democrats should try to impeach the president if they retake the House, Gillum responded, "I absolutely do". None of that is my cup of tea, but he performed better than the other people there so we've got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction.
Another indication that the Florida race is going to be waged in the mud came when Gillum's GOP opponent went on Fox News this morning with a racist dog whistle telling Florida voters that they shouldn't "monkey things up" by electing Gillum. Whites represent about 64 percent of voters, 16 percent are Hispanic and 13 percent are black. The amount of money that's going to be spent in this state by November will probably be staggering.
"Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are both scraping from the bottom of the barrel", Gillum said on CNN. Suddenly, he was considered the favorite over Putnam, who seemingly spent his entire adult life building toward the run for governor.
DeSantis' television ads were Trump-focused, including one where his toddler stacks bricks while DeSantis exclaims, "Build the wall!" "We do not condone this language and wanted to make our viewers aware that he has since clarified his statement".
DeSantis, who turns 40 next month, is a former Navy lawyer who won his seat in 2012 running as a Washington outsider. He ran for the Senate in 2016 but dropped out when Republican Sen.
"We don't have to run this campaign as "Republican Lite" to win", Gillum wrote in a Medium post just a few weeks after entering the race in March 2017. "I don't think it is a blue or red or purple issue". He also won 61 percent of the county's precincts, including big percentages in the precincts around UCF and the majority African American precincts in west Orlando and Pine Hills, where Sunday was the traditional "Souls to the Polls" day for early voting. "I'm not going to go down in the gutter". Former Rep. Gwen Graham, whose father, Bob Graham, served as governor, had hoped to position herself to become the state's first female governor.
"I am as impressed as anyone that my opponent owns over 100 pairs of shoes", McSally said in her victory speech Tuesday night. But he had prominent elected officials - including Congressman Alcee Hastings, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam and state Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, strongly advocating on his behalf.