Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Republican Ron DeSantis defeats Andrew Gillum in Florida gubernatorial race

Republican Ron DeSantis defeats Andrew Gillum in Florida gubernatorial race

Former Rep. Ron DeSantis won the race for governor of Florida on Tuesday night, defeating Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in one of the most closely-watched races across the country.

Gillum fell short in his bid to become Florida's first African-American governor.

Democrats picked up governorships in Kansas and at least three other U.S. states on Tuesday but failed to win high-profile races in Florida and OH, as voters cast ballots in three dozen gubernatorial contests across the country.

DeSantis and his supporters accused Gillum of being dishonest and corrupt for accepting a ticket from an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent to the popular Broadway show "Hamilton", and traveling to Costa Rica and other places with lobbyist Adam Corey.

"I still believe that", Gillum said in his concession speech. "We recognize that, you know, we didn't win it tonight", he told supporters.

"I think if Republicans vote and vote in big numbers on Tuesday, we will win all of these races", he said at a rally outside the Freedom Pharmacy on the east side of Orlando.

DeSantis called Gillum a "committed leftist ideologue".

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In Colorado, Democrat Jared Polis was set to become the first openly gay man to be elected governor of a USA state, after NBC News projected him to win against Republican Walker Stapleton.

This has been considered one of the most controversial elections after the passing an "exact match" policy, which requires voter details to match information on the state's database. Though Gillum had a slight edge in the polls leading up to Election Day, and support from high-profile Democrats like former President Barack Obama, Florida has not elected a Democratic governor since 1994.

His victory comes after a heated campaign to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is term-limited.

Rep. Jeanette Nunez, a Miami Republican who is running for lieutenant governor with DeSantis, slammed Gillum for Tallahassee's crime rate, which is above the state average based on population.

"That race was swung by Donald Trump to DeSantis, who's now behind".

The contests for governor in Florida and Georgia - in which liberal black Democrats faced off against white Republicans strongly supported by Trump - had not been resolved by 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT). Fox News' Decision Desk still has projected that race as too close to call. Trump traveled to each state in the closing days of the election cycle to energize Republicans at "Make America Great Again" rallies.

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