U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis rode President Trump’s endorsement to victory in Florida’s Republican primary for governor Tuesday, defeating a longtime favorite of the Republican establishment with a campaign based largely around the president.
DeSantis, who spent much of his campaign on Fox News defending Trump, beat out Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who had seemingly built up the run for governor his entire adult life after being elected to office as a 22-year-old.
DeSantis, who turns 40 next month, is a former Navy lawyer. He also ran for Senate in 2016 but dropped out when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio shut down his presidential campaign and decided to run for re-election.
DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY
Andrew Gillum, the Mayor of Tallahassee, narrowly beat out former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham as the Democratic candidate for Florida Governor. Gillum pulled off an upset against better funded and better-known candidates on his quest to become the state’s first black governor.
Gillum spent the least of the five major candidates in his primary race and had the smallest television presence. He relied on a grassroots campaign and the support of the furthest left in the party to beat four other candidates, including former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, the daughter of popular former governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.
Gillum, 39, was a favorite among Democrats who call themselves progressives and earned the endorsement of former Vermont Sen. Bernie Saunders. Gillum was a 23-year-old Florida A&M student when he became the youngest person elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in 2003. He was elected mayor in 2014.
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.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders held a rally in Tampa campaigning with Gillum ahead of the primary election.
Gillum was the only candidate who said he’d raise corporate income taxes, and he often talked about winning a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association during his time as mayor. He often said he was the only candidate in the race who wasn’t a millionaire or billionaire.
Gillum is campaigning on Medicare for All, repealing Stand Your Ground, banning assault weapons, legalizing marijuana, and raising the minimum wage to $15 in the state of Florida.
Governor Rick Scott easily won the Republican primary in the senate race, defeating Roque De La Fuente, who has run for a number of offices. Now we're set for the showdown against Democrat, Senator Bill Nelson, and they're already running ads against each other.
ATTORNEY GENERAL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
In the race for Attorney General, the Democrats chose attorney Sean Shaw, from Tampa, over attorney Ryan Torrens, who is also from Tampa. Shaw received endorsements from many Democratic Party officials.
Shaw, who is also a first-term Florida House member, is heavily favored to advance to the general election. The last Democrat to be elected attorney general was Bob Butterworth, who served from 1987 until 2002.
“I am not running to be the governor’s general counsel and that’s how you’ve seen it used,” said Shaw during a meeting with South Florida newspaper editorial page editors. “I am running to be an independent watchdog. This is the one office you can do that without seeking permission from the Governor.”
ATTORNEY GENERAL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
Former Tampa judge Ashley Moody will be the Republican candidate on the Florida ballot for Attorney General. Moody has had the endorsement of current Attorney General Pam Bondi and other state Republican leaders.
Moody is the only candidate from either party who has experience prosecuting and hearing criminal cases. Moody is a former federal prosecutor and stepped down as a Hillsborough County circuit judge in April 2017 to run for office. She was first elected back in 2006. She worked for the U.S. Attorney’s office as a prosecutor prior to her election.
Moody beat out State Representative Frank White, of Pensacola, a lawyer for an automotive chain owned by his family.