August 30, 2018
President Donald Trump’s pick—and the winner of the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary—already is dividing voters with his racist comments. Ron DeSantis’s general-election campaign got off to a controversial start on August 29, when he went on Fox News and warned voters not to “monkey this up” by electing his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, who would be the first African American to lead the state.
DeSantis, who has created a political persona out of the same mold as the POTUS, called Gillum “much too liberal for Florida” and an “articulate spokesman for those far-left views.”
“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,” he continued. “That’s not going to work, that’s not going to be good for Florida.”
The huge upset victory by Andrew Gillum—who has served as mayor of Tallahassee, Florida—in the Tuesday Democratic primary for governor has made him eligible to become the first black governor of the Sunshine State.
According to a report by The Hill, Gillum—armed with an endorsement from Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and campaigning on an unabashedly progressive agenda—unexpectedly defeated former one-term U.S. Representative Gwen Graham (D-Florida), the daughter of a popular former governor and senator.
The victory gives the progressive wing of the Democratic Party another jolt of momentum, coming two months after Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the cycle by knocking off the longtime incumbent, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in New York’s primary.
Gillum will now face off against DeSantis in a campaign that already has turned dirty and divisive. Gillum had not commented on De Santis’s statements at press time.
Research contact: @LA_Hagen