Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis vote in Florida

Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis vote in Florida

The same Florida voters who put Republican Ron DeSantis into the governor's mansion on Tuesday also passed a constitutional amendment that automatically restores ex-felons' right to vote ― something DeSantis had opposed. But it was not so. DeSantis hammered Gillum's ethics and honesty, questioning whether he has been telling the truth about his role in the ongoing FBI investigation.

With more than 8 million votes counted, the state Division of Elections showed DeSantis leading Democrat Andrew Gillum by a margin of 49.88 percent to 48.9 percent, or about 79,000 votes.

DeSantis has represented northeast Florida in Congress since 2012.

DeSantis, who has described himself as a "Teddy Roosevelt-Republican", is outspoken on environmental concerns.

For the last few weeks, Real Clear Politics' average of the key polls has given Republicans 50 "safe" Senate seats and narrow leads in two of the seven "tossup" races (Missouri and Nevada).

"Florida's governor's race is a referendum on President Trump, perhaps more than any other major race this election cycle", he said. "But I want you to know that, despite our congratulating him on his victory this evening, nothing that we believe in is compromised", Gillum said. "But as my grandmother told me - never wrestle with a pig".

"It's like watching an actor who can film the whole scene in one take", she said.

'We'll worry about history later, but today, we're working to win, ' said, who would become the first black governor of a state that has seen racial strife should he win.

"If he doesn't have a photographic memory, it's close", Wiles added. But the left propelled Gillum to victory in the primary. He too was expecting a victory as he thanked supporters.

"I can guarantee you this: I'm not going anywhere", Gillum said. In contrast, Gillum in part ran on a corporate tax rate hike.

Meanwhile, two U.S. House of Representatives races had been settled by 10 p.m.

In the backdrop, ethics scandals involving both candidates drove campaign narrative, though Gillum's was more affected. Attacking Gillum during an appearance on Fox News, DeSantis, referring to successes in Florida achieved by Scott, said "the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases, and bankrupting the state". "That will cost you your jobs, that will cause businesses to leave Florida ... it would be a historic mistake". Trump told supporters at the rally that Florida, home of his Mar-a-Lago resort, was "my state also". Marco Rubio, R-Fla., state Rep. Matt Caldwell, the Republican candidate for agriculture commissioner, and Ashley Moody, a former judge who is the GOP nominee for attorney general. "I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist", Gillum said.

DeSantis called Gillum a formidable opponent. "The other campaign, they articulated a position of greater involvement of government in your lives and therefore a greater involvement in your wallet". Gillum has repeatedly maintained that he is not the target of the wide-ranging FBI investigation into Tallahassee's city hall and that he got the tickets from his brother. It was advice that DeSantis found hard to heed.

But ultimately, the issues of the day didn't define Florida's race for Governor.

Gillum had 60 percent of the vote in Miami-Dade and 68 percent in Broward County against DeSantis.

Republicans also scored a major victory in OH, where Mike DeWine, the state attorney general, defeated Democrat Richard Cordray, who served as the first director of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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