Andrew Gillum Bucks Projections, Is Florida Democrats' Choice For Governor

Lynette PayneAug 29, 2018

The mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, has won the Democratic nomination in the race to be Florida's next governor.

In the interview, Gillum played down the historical nature of his win - and the potential for another milestone in November, when he could become the state's first African-American governor.

Gillum finished strong in each of Florida's major cities, including Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and his home city of Tallahassee.

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. Indeed, as late as mid-August, a SurveyUSA poll showed Graham and Levine tied for the lead, with self-funding Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene running third and Gillum far back.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, President Trump's personal pick to win the GOP governor primary in Florida, declared victory Tuesday night; posting huge gains and defeating the state's Agricultural Commissioner as the candidate sets his sights on the general election. The front page of his campaign's website was festooned with multiple images of Trump-as was his final campaign ad.

A liberal Democrat backed by Senator Bernie Sanders pulled off an upset in the Democratic primary for Florida governor on Tuesday, setting up a November showdown with a Republican backed by President Donald Trump.

The conservative DeSantis easily won the Republican primary by highlighting his enthusiastic loyalty to Trump.

The Democratic candidate has yet to be announced, but does anyone remember Alan Grayson, the Democratic congressman who said Republicans wanted people to die during the Obamacare debate. His grassroots campaign mirrors that of Ocasio-Cortez, whose takedown of New York City goliath Rep. Joe Crowley sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party earlier this year.

"What has made Andrew's campaign so powerful is that he's not just working hard to win an election, he has laid out a vision for a new course for the state of Florida and our country", Sanders said Tuesday night.

Gillum beat out four other wealthy candidates, including Gwen Graham who was once a member of Congress and a projected frontrunner in the race.

DeSantis entered the race a month after Trump's December tweeted that he would make "a GREAT governor". "No one person can take on the economic and political elites on their own".

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