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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis was elected Florida governor Tuesday, riding the support of President Donald Trump to victory.

DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before he got into the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and came to Florida two more times to propel him past Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the final days of the election.

The win maintainrd the grip Republicans have had on the governor’s office since Jeb Bush was sworn in in 1999, and DeSantis will have a chance to return the favor for Trump in 2020, when Florida figures to play a pivotal role in the presidential election.

Gillum conceded late Tuesday, telling a crowd gathered on the campus of Florida A&M University, “I sincerely regret I couldn’t bring it home for you.”

But Gillum, who is just 39, vowed to remain involved in politics.

“I can guarantee you this: I’m not going anywhere,” said Gillum. “We’re going to fight, we’re going to keep fighting.”

DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the Aug. 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum, who was Florida’s first black nominee for governor. Despite implications that DeSantis was racially insensitive — an idea he angrily disputed during a debate — he was able to win the state that Trump carried in 2016.

DeSantis ran as a political outsider despite serving three terms in Congress and running for U.S. Senate in 2016 before dropping out of the race when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election. The race was the third office he’s sought in two years: his re-election, Senate and governor.

DeSantis is a former Navy officer who graduated from Yale University, where he was the school’s baseball captain, before getting his law degree at Harvard University.

He gained name recognition during the primary with more than 100 appearances on Fox News, usually to defend the president, but didn’t lay out a clear agenda on what he’d do if elected until after the primary.

DeSantis ran a largely negative campaign, calling Gillum a socialist and saying he oversaw one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden cities in the state. Trump joined in, tweeting similar messages. The corruption allegation stemmed from a continuing FBI investigation into City Hall that Gillum has said he is not a target of and is cooperating with; the charge that Tallahassee had the state’s highest crime rate was false.

DeSantis also criticized Gillum for signing a pledge for the civil rights group Dream Defenders. The pledge was a promise not to take money from private prisons or the National Rifle Association, but the group is also critical of the justice system, saying police and prisons are racist.

Gillum portrayed DeSantis as racially divisive, repeatedly pointing out his “monkey this up” comment and noting that a major DeSantis contributor called former President Barack Obama the N-word on Twitter and DeSantis refused to return his money. Gillum even spelled out the slur during a debate.

“I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist,” Gillum said.

DeSantis tried to connect with working-class families by pointing out in campaign ads that his first job paid $6 an hour and that he later traded in his work boots for military boots, highlighting his service in Iraq. DeSantis also spent time at the Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Although DeSantis heavily emphasized his support of Trump before the primary, he scrubbed his campaign website of most Trump references and toned down his association with the president through most of the general election. That changed in the final week, when Trump helped drive out Republican supporters.

___

Associated Press writer Jennifer Kay in Miami Beach contributed to this report.

PHOTO: AP

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23 thoughts on “Andrew Gillum Concedes In Florida Governor’s Race [WATCH]

    • MD is doing exactly what he’s paid to do, cause division, and cause unrest. Keep repeating the 23rd Psalms. And we’ll hope that he and the rest of the demons who mean us harm, will disappear in a puff of smoke, like all evil spirits do.

  1. Why can’t candidates lose because they were not the popular choice.? Why when some blacks lose, it’s automatic voter suppression? I live in GA, took my 18 year old to the polls for her first time. Lines appeared long but moved smoothly. Did not experience any problems. Don’t assume all blacks and Latinos votes for the black person.

  2. SheCat54 on said:

    This is why I don’t vote. The right qualified MAN that should have WON did not because PUNKS and BULLY’S that don’t want to play fair and can’t stand the ideal of loosing to a very well educated brown skin man or woman so the only thing to use is the weakest vise. CHEAT! and use other DIRTY tactic to gain control over everything on GOD’S earth!!! And you dumb undeserving PECKERWOODS still can’t get it RIGHT!!! Nothing but FU*K UPS and you will never be anything better. ROTFL.

    • Not voting is giving your vote to the opposition. I can’t see any logic in that. BAW hasn’t done it’s job in monitoring this site and blocking comments from outsiders out to divide us and our votes. Can’t you see what MD, jhuf, and you know the others are trying to do? And if BAW doesn’t get a hold of this website, they’re are going to get worse for the 2020 elections.

    • Don’t get discouraged Gillum probably didn’t lose. If you take away all the wrong doing that occurred. We can’t feel bad, he lives to fight another battle. Look at how close it was. I frankly feel he should’ve asked for a recount. I just don’t trust the slime in that state. So see your vote may have counted if, you had voted. I’m black, around, and unbreakable. No one can keep me away from the polls. Been voting in every election since I was 18? And when I can no longer walk in, I’ll crawl.

  3. stephanie Jones on said:

    Mr. Gillum, I am so sorry for you not winning, you have worked so hard, more qualify than your opponent, but you were betrayed by a trusted friend, the field was not level, your racist opponent had to spread lies, and got help from the most toxic and racist president of all. If #45 did not campaign for him, you would have won. We voted for you, Please keep your head up and don’t get discourage, this is preparing you for your next job. God bless you

    • Mad Maxine on said:

      The Democratic Plantation management thanks you for your vote. Please return to your lives, we will contact you in 2020 with no meaningful progress on issues important to your families, but rather to stoke fear and division and steal your vote again.

  4. Breaking news!!!! someone knocked over a por-ta potty into the kiddie pool at the local Holiday
    Inn causing “a massive blue wave”

  5. In this polarized environment currently; for black candidates to win governorships and national races( senate, potus) going forth have to get at least 70 percent black voter turn out. Out that turn out ; win 80-90 percent of it. Also laser in on young voter turnout . Last break this Latino challenge. Focus more on States that have voters who are more passionate about immigration issues : Mexicans , Central Americans versus Puerto Rican’s and Cubans where naturally this would not be an issue

  6. With the large Hispanic and minority population in Florida, the only way Gillum could and DID lose was via VOTER SUPPRESSION.

    Thanks to former governor, Rick Scott–voter suppression was obtained via PURGING folks of COLOR from the voting rolls, completed voter registration forms suddenly gone missing,
    the implementation of that BOGUS VOTER ID shit.

    The good ole South is determined to DENY US DEMOCRACY–No African American SHALL BE VOTED INTO HIGHER POLITICAL OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Tonite has proven that this country’s fake political leaders can call names and disparage ppl and still win elections. This is a racist nation. I have voted for the last time!

      • No mofo. I’m going stay right here, and yes i do hate this racist ass country. Now u can go back and f..k your mommy, bytch!

      • Mac Daddy on said:

        Of course you’re going to stay here. Where else could you get a free ride on the backs of hard working, educated tax payers?

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