Ron DeSantis Defeats Andrew Gillum In Florida

Natalie Gontcharova

Ron DeSantis narrowly defeated Andrew Gillum in the race for Florida governor on Tuesday.

An unabashed progressive, Gillum energized the state's young and minority voters by promising to seek an assault-weapons ban and other gun reform legislation, championing Medicare for All, and supporting a $1 billion investment in public schools and $15 minimum wage. Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee and was elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in 2003.

"I am running as the most progressively viable candidate for Florida governor in gubernatorial history," Gillum said. "I’m campaigning on Medicare for all, equal rights for all, and an economy that works for all."

DeSantis has said that he would have vetoed the three gun reform measures approved by the Florida legislature in March in the wake of the Parkland shooting. He also voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He has criticized Gillum for not being able to keep Tallahassee safe from crime, even though the numbers don't exactly back his accusations. "Under Mayor Gillum’s leadership, Tallahassee is the most crime-ridden city in the entire state of Florida," DeSantis said in a debate on October 22.

This summer, DeSantis issued a campaign ad in which he's teaching his kids to love Trump. It shows him building a wall out of blocks with them and giving his son a "Make America Great Again" onesie. "Everyone knows my husband Ron DeSantis is endorsed by President Trump, but he’s also an amazing dad," his wife Casey says in the ad.

"Donald Trump is weak. And he performs as all weak people do," Gillum said in their first debate in response to the ad. "They become bullies. And Mr. DeSantis is his acolyte. He’s trying out to be Trump’s apprentice."

The historic race was marred by DeSantis' dog whistles to racists, like when he said Florida should not "monkey this up" and elect Gillum, and that the race was "so cotton-pickin' important." Gillum wasted no time calling out DeSantis for his comments. "I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist," Gillum said on October 24. "I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist."

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