Florida governor’s race: DeSantis defeats Gillum; both had strong real estate backing

Republican Ron De Santis and Democrat Andrew Gillum fist-bump at their debate last month

Republican Ron De Santis and Democrat Andrew Gillum fist-bump at their debate last month

Ron DeSantis has won the race for the governorship of Florida, defeating his Democratic opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Holding his baby son in his arms, and with his two older children at his side, Gillum expressed satisfaction at a campaign he says was run with class and focused on the policy instead of nonsense.

The race for governor is the state's most visible contest this year.

Nelson is defending his seat against Scott, the current governor.

The race was among the most watched in the United States midterms, with Trump throwing his weight behind DeSantis and Gillum endorsed by former Democratic president Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Gillum trailed by about 1 percentage point and fewer than 80,000 votes when he conceded.

"We can not win the state of Florida if we continue hemorrhaging those kinds of margins in red counties", Schale said.

Trump was heavily invested in the race, making two visits to the state in the final week of the campaign.

"We all learned in 2016 not to count on anything, not polls, not election integrity, not the electoral mood", Dawn Hucklebridge, 36, a friend of Gillum, said at his election night gathering as it became clear he would likely lose.

Voters headed to the polls on Tuesday for the midterm elections.

Enable lives up to top billing in Breeders' Cup
She showed enormous courage, beating a very high-class filly, and it was interesting that they came well clear of the third. Ridden by Joel Rosario, Accelerate, sent off as the 5-2 favorite, sat four lengths back early in the 1 1/4-mile race.

But many said he conceded too soon.

Gillum, a liberal Democrat, and DeSantis, who has tried to imitate Trump in every way, provided voters with a pretty intense contrast.

Fox News projected DeSantis, a former congressman, would win with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

DeSantis, a Harvard-educated lawyer, has said that he will appoint conservative justices who are "solid constitutionalists".

His victory comes after a heated campaign to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is term-limited.

"Political campaigns are a rough business and often about highlighting our differences".

During his acceptance speech, Gillum thanked his wife and Trump for their support. Gillum himself predicted that after years of going "Republican-lite", Florida Democrats would win by rallying their voters with an unabashedly progressive agenda. Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania - where Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf easily won re-election on Tuesday - are typically Democratic states that swung to Trump in 2016, handing him the presidency.

Gillum said he opposes the group's calls for reducing spending on police and sanctioning Israel. Democrats ran up the score in South Florida and the Tallahassee region, while narrowly eking out an advantage among Orlando-area early voters.

On the morning after, strategists and activists awoke to a crisis of confidence and a humbling acknowledgment that even as Democrats are winning in Wisconsin and Kansas, in Florida Republicans are always about 60,000 votes ahead.

Gillum had also faced scrutiny over accepting Hamilton tickets from an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who was conducting an ethics probe.

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