DeSantis wins Republican nomination for Florida governor

UNITED STATES- FEBRUARY 22 Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward attends the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill Md

Tom Williams CQ-Roll Call Group

Well over a million Republicans turned out for Tuesday's primary, but just one person clinched the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nomination for DeSantis over Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

DeSantis, the three-term congressman from Ponte Vedra Beach who is running with President Donald Trump's endorsement, also has almost a 20-point lead among those Republicans who said they have not yet voted but intend to vote in the primary.

Trump surprised Florida Republicans late a year ago with his endorsement of DeSantis, and he has frequently tweeted about the lawmaker, one of his staunchest supporters in Washington. DeSantis was one of several Republicans running in contests in Florida and Arizona who hoped that cozying up to the president would be rewarded by voters.

Trump's endorsement helped him overtake Putnam, who has held elected office almost his entire adult life. Putnam is the candidate of the state's Republican establishment.

DeSantis is a former Navy lawyer who won his seat in 2012 running as a Washington outsider. Those who said they did not intend to vote in next Tuesday's Republican primary were dropped from the results. Bill Nelson. Scott had an easy win in Tuesday's GOP primary, and now he heads into an increasingly bitter - and expensive - showdown with Nelson that could play a decisive role in which party controls the Senate. DeSantis made his allegiance to Trump the central theme of his race, airing a campaign ad in which he urged his toddler daughter to "build that wall" with toy blocks. DeSantis will face the victor in a crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary field led by moderate former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham, the daughter of Bob Graham, a former Florida governor and U.S. senator. At FiveThirtyEight, Nathaniel Rakich says, correctly I think, that Democrats may be hurting in the general election if Gillum takes down Graham.

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