Twitter drags Trump-backed Florida candidate for racist comment

Kelli Ward speaks at a campaign rally Oct. 17 2017 in Scottsdale Ariz

Ross D. Franklin APArizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward speaks at a campaign rally Oct. 17 2017 in Scottsdale Ariz

But in a state with as many expensive media markets as Florida, no one can win statewide without breaking the bank.

The statement came just hours after DeSantis and Gillum won their respective primaries, setting up a gubernatorial race that has been described as a proxy for the populist versus progressive tug-of-war over the soul of the American electorate.

Gillum will now face off against Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who with the support of President Donald Trump, managed to defeat Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Graham, who represented a conservative north Florida district in Congress, has been in the race the longest, and early on was considered the front-runner.

If the political climate in Georgia and Florida has tilted far enough to the left to enable Abrams and Gillum to beat Trump wannabes like Kemp and DeSantis, than it may be safe to assume the president's chances of re-election are doomed. Republicans could have nominated no bigger champion for the president than DeSantis. He will attack Gillum's record as mayor of Tallahassee, which includes an ongoing FBI investigation of possible corruption at city hall related to development deals.

DeSantis spokesman Stephen Lawson said the candidate was referring to Gillum's political positions, not his race.

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Democrats are now criticizing DeSantis' remarks as being racist. Former Rep. Gwen Graham (daughter of Bob Graham, the former Florida governor and senator) and groups supporting her spent $12.5 million.

Also, what happens to that hypothetical voter when DeSantis inevitably spends the rest of the week denying that he meant anything untoward?

On the Republican side, DeSantis, a US congressman from the Jacksonville area, stomped Adam Putnam, a former congressman and current Commissioner of Agriculture in Florida, with more than 56 percent of the vote.

Now, the outcome of November's election isn't as obvious to Florida Democrats. He could be the state's first black governor. Gillum has said he is confident the investigation has nothing to do with him.

"We have to give our voters something to vote for, not against", Smith said.

Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Terrie Rizzo called his comments "disgusting" and said he was launching his general election campaign with "racist dog whistles".

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Florida elections are always competitive, and this is a guy who, although he's much too liberal for Florida, I think he's got huge problems with how he's governed Tallahassee, he is an articulate spokesman for those far-left views, and he's a charismatic candidate.

Gillum, the Mayor of Tallahassee, will become the first black candidate of a major party to run for governor in the Sunshine State.

In an interview with The Associated Press he added: "I think the Florida electorate is going to reject the politics of division".

DeSantis based almost his entire campaign around the president, and acknowledged after the victory that Trump's endorsement was the key. Bill Nelson. After an easy win in Tuesday's GOP primary, Scott now joins a bitter - and expensive - showdown with Nelson that could play a decisive role in determining whether Republicans maintain control of the Senate.

In a tweet Wednesday, Trump says McSally is "an extraordinary woman".

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