ibusinesslines.com September 19, 2018

Fact-checking the Florida candidates for governor and US Senate

30 August 2018, 06:51 | Melissa Porter

Andrew Gillum to face Ron DeSantis in Florida governor race

Andrew Gillum supporters Richard Lopez and Mara Cooper watch the screen as election results come in showing their candidate winning the Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday Aug. 28 2018 in Tallahassee Fla

"He got a pass in the Democrat primary".

Obama called for establishing a "voting rights division" within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat "voter fraud" and what he said were efforts to "discourage people to vote".

Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum appeared on MTP Daily on MSNBC to talk about the controversy raised by his opponent's "monkey this up" remarks as well as President Donald Trump calling him a "failed socialist". Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is a Fox News regular who really, really wants to build Trump's proposed border wall.

The mainstream media is going wild because Florida Republican Ron DeSantis, just nominated to run for governor against African-American Andrew Gillum, said he hopes voters don't "monkey this up" by electing his far-left opponent. The amount of money that's going to be spent in this state by November will probably be staggering.

Will this new approach win competitive races for Democratic candidates around the country?

Trump surprised Florida Republicans late past year with his endorsement of DeSantis, and he has frequently tweeted about the lawmaker, one of his staunchest supporters in Washington.

DeSantis has emphasized his conservative credentials and military career, but it was the support by Trump that turned the race around in his favor.

Gillum said he would stick to the issues.

"I've been underestimated against Putnam, people are now starting to change that view, and I think I'll be underestimated going forward, but that's just how I like it", DeSantis said.

Yet, the "majority of Democratic primary voters rejected him", DeSantis noted. And city hall itself has been under investigation by the FBI for corruption, although Gillum has said he is not a target of the investigation.

President Donald Trump, whose endorsement of Ron DeSantis was pivotal in Florida's Republican primary for governor, signaled this morning that he plans to get involved in the general election as well.

DeSantis, 39, is the latest in a string of Republican candidates elevated this year by the president's engagement in intraparty fights. His surprise upset win Tuesday night was also a major victory for the Democratic Party's progressive wing.

A multitude of factors contributed to the win, which made Gillum the first black nominee for governor in Florida history.

On other issues, Gillum was much further to the left than the rivals he defeated, and more in line with the progressive fringes of the Democratic party now coming to the fore. The GOP also saw higher turnout in the Arizona governor's race and the hotly watched Senate contest.

While Trump held off endorsing any of the three Republicans in a contentious U.S. Senate battle in Arizona, the candidates all spent the final stretch of the campaign touting their allegiance to him. Statewide, blacks are 28 percent of the state's registered voters. Nonetheless, it needs to be seen for what it is: a proxy for the 2020 presidential race; a proxy for the impeachment fight that is likely to come if Democrats win control of the House; and a referendum on whether a new approach to politics will work for the Democratic Party.

Those primary races Tuesday set up a fierce fall showdown in the nation's largest political battleground.

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