Andrew Gillum celebrates "incredible feat" of clinching Democratic nomination for Florida governor

Ben Davidson
August 30, 2018

Hours after securing the Republican nomination to face Democrat Andrew Gillum in November, DeSantis said the last thing Floridians need to do is "monkey this up" by electing Gillum.

Andrew Gillum was expected by many to be an also-ran in Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary.

During the Fox News appearance, DeSantis called Gillum "an articulate spokesman for those far-left views" and a "charismatic candidate" who is "much too liberal for Florida", however.

Facing establishment-backed former Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) in the primary, DeSantis was once considered the underdog, though Trump's endorsement this week helped change that.

"Well, in the handbook of Donald Trump they no longer do full whistle calls, they do full bullhorns", Gillum said. On Tuesday, after clinching the GOP nomination, DeSantis credited the President for helping boost his candidacy. Gillum has said he's not a target.

Greene and Levine are both wealthy South Florida Jewish candidates, and from the first moment Greene entered the race, most observers believed he and Levine would fight for the same pool of voters.

Democrats immediately decried DeSantis' comment as racist.

He said he had personally chose to vote for Graham over DeSantis in the general election, and he may wind up voting for Gillum.

DeSantis also benefited from some $9 million worth of earned media from his frequent Fox News hits.

Supporters at DeSantis' party in Orlando chanted "Ron! Ron!" Graham had a built-in fundraising network as a former congresswoman and the daughter of a popular Florida governor and senator, while two other top candidates were self-funded.

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Gillum said he would stick to the issues. He said voters shouldn't "monkey this up" by electing a guy with a socialist agenda.

American Bridge, closely associated with the Democratic Party and heavily funded by NY billionaire George Soros, contends in a news release that the ad is part of a campaign aimed at painting DeSantis as someone focused on appeasing Trump, "not helping Florida families".

Stipanovich, who in 1994 ran Bush's first but unsuccessful run for governor, said GOP statewide candidates have been able to disqualify Democrats in recent decades by tarring them as "liberal" ― but that Gillum's win could mean those days are over.

President Trump, who supported DeSantis during the primary, congratulated him and told him he has nothing to worry about come November.

Before hearing the statement, Gillum was on CNN talking about the divisiveness of DeSantis and Trump.

"We're going to make clear to the rest of the world that the dark days that we've been under coming out of Washington, that the derision and the division that have been coming out of our White House, that right here in the state of Florida that we are going to remind this nation of what is truly the American way", Gillum told his cheering supporters.

Trump surprised Florida Republicans late past year with his endorsement of DeSantis, and he has frequently tweeted about the lawmaker, one of his staunchest supporters in Washington. He held a victory celebration in Tallahassee Tuesday night.

"Let's not forget that this is the candidate that #45 endorsed", she wrote, referring to Trump being the 45th president. Now Martha, a great U.S. Military fighter jet pilot and highly respected member of Congress, WINS BIG.

"Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes - Loves our Military & our Vets".

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