Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. (Photo: Lynne Sladky/AP)
Andrew Gillum pulled off an upset victory Tuesday night in Florida’s Democratic primary in a bid to become the state’s first African-American governor.
Gillum, the progressive mayor of Tallahassee who had been endorsed in the race by Sen. Bernie Sanders, narrowly defeated former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, the Associated Press reported. Polls showed him surging late in the race, and his victory shocked most political observers in Florida who assumed it was Graham’s to lose.
Graham is the daughter of Bob Graham, a former Florida governor and U.S. senator.
Congratulations to @AndrewGillum on his victory. Tonight, Floridians joined Andrew in standing up and demanding real change and showed our nation what is possible when we stand together. Let’s make history this November and make Andrew Gillum the next Governor of Florida.
In the general election, Gillum will now face Rep. Ron DeSantis, whose endorsement by President Trump catapulted his candidacy past Florida agriculture commissioner and former Rep. Adam Putnam.
Trump celebrated DeSantis’s victory on Twitter.
DeSantis has portrayed himself in a campaign ad as holding identical views to Trump on issues like building a wall on the border with Mexico.
Gillum and DeSantis are vying to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a state that narrowly went for Trump in the 2016 presidential elections. Scott won a race of his own Tuesday night: the GOP nomination for the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Florida.
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