Republican Referring To African-American Opponent, Says Don't "Monkey Up"

Andrew Gillum to face Ron DeSantis in Florida governor race

Andrew Gillum to face Ron DeSantis in Florida governor race

The state is going in a good direction, but voters would "monkey this up" if they elected Andrew D. Gillum, a Democrat who stands to be the state's first African American governor, DeSantis said in a morning Fox News appearance.

Democrats immediately decried DeSantis' comment as racist.

DeSantis' "Issues" page also states he will "defend First Amendment speech rights against those in academia, media, and politics who seek to silence conservatives" - even though statistical data shows the most persecuted academics when it comes to free-speech rights are, in fact, those who express leftist ideas. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd", Stephen Lawson, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, said in response to the backlash.

On Tuesday, Ron DeSantis was declared the victor in Florida's republican gubernatorial primary, facing off against the state's agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam.

DeSantis and Gillum will face off in the November 6 general election to replace Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate. McSally's district in particular is expected to be one of the most competitive House races in November's general election.

Election night in Florida brought a surprise for Democrats, setting up a race that pits a Bernie Sanders progressive against a Trump-backed Republican in the governor's race. On Twitter earlier on Wednesday, the president slammed Gillum as a "failed" mayor, without citing examples.

The use of language seen as coded racism prompted an extraordinary rebuke from Fox News after DeSantis appeared on the network Wednesday.

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The governor's race will probably become a referendum on Trump. Gillum has promised to inject $1 billion into education and supports Medicare for All and Trump's impeachment.

Tallahassee has had one of the highest crime rates in the state the last few years, although it has been going down.

"That is not what Floridians want, " DeSantis declared.

Congresswoman Martha McSally has won the Republican primary for Arizona's open U.S. Senate seat.

Gillum, meanwhile, relied on a grassroots campaign in the big-money Democratic primary. At the age of 23, Gillum was elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in 2003.

"I have been really slow to try to think on it because it's too big, " he said. He will attack Gillum's record as mayor of Tallahassee, which includes an ongoing FBI investigation of possible corruption at city hall related to development deals. Gillum has said he's not a target.

"People are really sick and exhausted of this kind of race-baiting, division, derisive element to our politics", Gillum said during an interview on MSNBC. Florida has been the most pro-Trump of the swing states.

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