Progressive Andrew Gillum Wins Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Primary in Upset

Trump-backed candidate wins Florida’s GOP primary for governor

Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis win primaries for Florida gubernatorial race

On the Democratic side, progressive candidate Andrew Gillum, also 39, won the nomination in a surprising upset.

Implicitly denouncing the divisive and hate-filled platforms of DeSantis and President Donald Trump, Gillum declared at his victory party Tuesday night that his campaign is "going to unite this state".

"I do understand how many could have misconstrued my comments as insensitive, and for this I apologize", Ward said.

Some have drawn parallels between Gillum's stunning victory and the win earlier this summer by self-proclaimed democratic socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who ousted longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley (D) in NY.

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"(Gillum) wants to abolish ICE; he wants a billion-dollar tax increase; he wants a single payer health care system in Florida, which would bankrupt the state.

Gwen Graham, a former House member, had been the favorite to win the Democratic nod but was frustrated by a number of challenges from other centrists, including two Jewish multimillionaires: Philip Levine, a former mayor of Miami Beach and a media mogul, and Jeff Greene, a real estate developer. And so I realize that these labels are easy to throw on folks, but when you're struggling - when you want to make sure that you can work one job instead of multiple jobs as a way to make ends meet - these labels mean nothing. In 2014, he was elected mayor.

As the primary neared, progressive groups - Indivisible Action, The Collective PAC, The New Florida Vision PAC and the Sanders-inspired Our Revolution among them - banded together to invest an additional $3.5 million in get-out-the-vote efforts supporting the Tallahassee mayor.

DeSantis came from behind with the help of Trump to beat Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who campaigned longer, raised more money and built the support of the party establishment. "Two African-Americans in red states, the reddest of states, rising to the top, and could possibly wind up getting the governorship of these states". That status was challenged over the summer by Levine, who used almost $27 million of his personal money to swamp Florida's 10 expensive media markets starting in November, far earlier than any other candidate on TV.

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Gwen Graham, a former congresswoman and daughter of former governor Bob Graham, conceded the race from Orlando.

But the win also comes as the FBI is investigating corruption at city hall. John McCain loomed over the final days of the GOP Senate primary, which had evolved into a Trump loyalty test (likely to the chagrin of the late senator, who called on his colleagues to stand up to the president when necessary). Buchanan has the edge, but pundits say he is more vulnerable than he has been in recent elections because of Democratic voters energized by Trump's presidency.

"I give you my word that whatever Andrew asks of me, I will do, because this election again is about Florida, the future of Florida", Graham said.

Trump surprised Florida Republicans with his endorsement of DeSantis, and frequently tweeted about the lawmaker, one of his staunchest supporters in Washington. Later Trump held a rally for him in Tampa. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) showed up to campaign for him.

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Sinema's and McSally's Senate runs also have created House openings in Arizona, a fast-growing and increasingly diverse state where Democrats are eager to gain a foothold. Marco Rubio made a decision to run for re-election after a failed presidential campaign. There were just a few people who said that this moment would not be possible.

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