President Donald Trump, on Twitter Wednesday, called Florida's Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum a socialist who has "allowed crime" to flourish in Tallahassee, where he is now the mayor. "We're going to try to compel and appeal to the higher values of the people of the state of Florida".
Gillum won every county with a major city in Florida except for St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, including huge margins in Jacksonville and victories in what was considered Levine's home base of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Bernie Sanders, who identifies himself as a democratic socialist.
The primary victories set up a mega-duel on November 6 for political control of the fourth most-populous state between a Trump favorite and a Sanders favorite, who is seeking to become Florida's first black governor.
Gillum indicated to Fox News' Shepard Smith that DeSantis' comment ran abreast of numerous controversial statements of President Donald Trump when he was campaigning for the White House in 2015 and 2016.
Democrats have not won the Florida governor's mansion since 1994. On Tuesday those expectations came crashing down - crushed in a wave of populist support for Congressman DeSantis, who has been one of President Trump's staunchest defenders on TV and who proudly campaigned with Donald Trump's endorsement. On the Democrat side, voters preferred Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who was endorsed by Sen.
Trump's tweet followed closely on the heels of a national television appearance by Gillum, in which he said he does not fear Trump's expected heavy involvement in the general election - and called for Trump's impeachment. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd", Lawson said by email.
The NAACP Florida State conference and the Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said DeSantis should apologize.
Republicans and Democrats agreed Wednesday that the fundamental rules of Florida politics don't change: Both races at the top of the ticket will be close.
HATTER: Gillum's campaign energized progressives by focusing on education, environmental protection and a livable minimum wage.
The hope for all three of this year's candidates lies in a surge of turnout from black and liberal voters similar to the one that carried Barack Obama to the presidency 10 years ago.
The new approach - being taken by Gillum and also Abrams in Georgia and some Democrats in other states - eschews moderation and emphasizes advocacy of strongly progressive positions.
This article was reported by The Associated Press, with contributions from Brian Witte.