Gillum concedes in Florida gubernatorial contest

Gillum concedes in Florida gubernatorial contest
Democrat Andrew Gillum concedes in governors race to Republican Ron DeSantis
Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded Saturday to GOP challenger Ron DeSantis in their contentious race for the Florida governor’s mansion.

The announcement from Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, came via a Facebook Live post made alongside his wife.

Gillum said he wanted "to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida."

"I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida. My wife R. Jai and I could not be prouder of the way we ran this race," Gillum tweeted. "Most importantly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being part of this campaign. I wouldn’t be here without the support that was shown by millions of Floridians. I encourage y’all to keep fighting for what we believe in."

Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount, DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes.

More than 8 million ballots went to a machine recount that ended Thursday afternoon. The final tally was 4,075,445 for DeSantis and 4,041,762 for Gillum. Gillum said he and his wife wanted to ensure every one of those votes was counted.

In his Facebook post, Gillum said that "although nobody wanted to be governor more than me, this was not just about an election cycle."

“Congratulations to Andrew Gillum on having run a really tough and competitive race for Governor of the Great State of Florida,” Trump tweeted. “He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future – a force to reckon with!”

"This was about creating the kind of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government and our state and our communities," he said. "We know that this fight continues in spite of the outcome of this election, R.J. and I are committing ourselves alongside each and every one of you."

Floridas 1st black nominee for gov challenged GOP dominance

In response to Gillum's concession, DeSantis tweeted: "This was a hard-fought campaign. Now it's time to bring Florida together."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. Fox News Heather Lacy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

“This has been the journey of our lives,” said Gillum, appearing in the video with his wife, R. Jai Gillum. “Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me that this was not just about an election cycle. This was about creating the type of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government, in our state, and in our communities. We know that this fight continues.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida’s young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor’s office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state’s first black nominee for the post.

Gillum, whose refrain had been “bring it home” as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park.

If the 76-year-old Nelson loses, it would likely spell an end to a lengthy political career that stretches back four decades. Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A win for Scott would mark his third victory since the multimillionaire businessman launched his political career in 2010. In each race, Scott has barely edged his Democratic opponent.

In his four-minute plus video , Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: “stay tuned.”

Gillum had initially conceded to DeSantis on election night, but he retracted it as the razor-thin margin between the two candidates narrowed. But he still trailed DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes following a legally required machine recount. Counties are wrapping up a hand recount this weekend and must submit their official results by noon Sunday.

Democrat Andrew Gillum officially ends bid for Florida governor, congratulates Republican Ron DeSantis

I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida. My wife R. Jai and I could not be prouder of the way we ran this race. We could not be more thankful to my running mate, @ChrisKingFL and his wife Kristen.

Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature.

The Senate race in Florida between Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Republican Governor Rick Scott, meanwhile, will get a hand recount, as the machine recount placed Scott in the lead by only 0.15 percent, well within the 0.25 percent margin to require it. This will be the first statewide hand recount in Florida’s history. But while Nelson may gain a few votes, he is not expected to take the lead.

Gillum Concedes Florida Governors Race

His final act as a candidate was less confrontational than that of another prominent African-American candidate in this year’s midterm elections: Stacy Abrams in neighboring Georgia ended her campaign for governor on Friday, ceding to a Republican with an unapologetically indignant tone establishing herself as a leading voting rights advocate.

The Florida secretary of state reported 900 fewer votes than were tallied originally, and that number is expected to balloon by 2,000 more votes when results from Broward County are reported. Although this number of votes would not necessarily swing the election from one candidate to another, it’s certainly enough to cause concern.

Video: Democrat Gillum ends campaign for Fla. governor

“This has been the journey of our lives,” said Gillum, appearing in the video with his wife, R. Jai Gillum. “Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me that this was not just about an election cycle. This was about creating the type of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government, in our state, and in our communities. We know that this fight continues.”

E. John Sebes, founder of the non-profit Open Source Election Technology countered, telling the Times, “This is a big deal. If you have an election margin of 0.21 percent and a variance of 0.12 percent, the variance of your machine count is half the margin you are trying to correct. That’s kooky.”

As Florida recount wraps up, Democrat Andrew Gillum concedes in gubernatorial race

Gillum’s concession came hours before Florida’s counties must turn in their official results at noon Sunday after tense days of recounting ballots in both the gubernatorial and a U.S. Senate contest — two nationally watched midterm elections that have keep the presidential swing state on edge since Election Day.

For example, Palm Beach County supervisor of elections Susan Bucher told the Times that there may be boxes of uncounted ballots and “dozens of precincts missing a significant number” of votes in the recount. Bucher said this is due to a ballot-scanning machine that has become overworked and overheated.

Gillum’s brief remarks came hours after President Donald Trump, who at one point in the campaign had sharply criticized Gillum, praised him for running a tough race.

The recount in Florida has put the state’s election machinery to the test, and it has failed miserably: Almost 3,000 votes have vanished, the New York Times reported, while Florida recounts three state and three local elections that have yet to be called.

“He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future – a force to reckon with!” said Trump in a Twitter post.

“It is expected that as each set of results are due, the numbers will fluctuate some,” Sarah W. Revell,  a spokesperson for the Florida secretary of state told the Times. “It is not indicative of a problem.”

Gillum had initially conceded to DeSantis on election night, but he retracted it as the razor-thin margin between the two candidates narrowed. But he still trailed DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes following a legally required machine recount. Counties are wrapping up a hand recount this weekend and must submit their official results by noon Sunday.

His visit to California comes after his criticism of the states handling of forest management — which he continued Friday afternoon on Fox News. Before boarding Air Force One to meet with Brown and Newsom, Trump told the press pool that they plan on talking about forest management. He added: We will be talking about forest management. Ive been saying that for a long time. It should have been a lot different situation. but the one thing is that everybody now knows that this is what we have to be doing, and theres no question about it. It should have been done many years ago. But I think everybodys on the right side. Its a big issue, its a big issue, a very expensive issue, but very, very inexpensive when you compare it to even one of these horrible fires. And well save a lot of lives.

Gillum’s concession assures Florida Republicans will retain their grasp on the governor’s office since Jeb Bush’s term starting in 1999.

His support comes with an interesting twist. He said that if Democrats give her a hard time that he can help add some Republican votes. This morning he added to that sentiment when he wrote: I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants in order for her to be Speaker of the House. She deserves this victory, she has earned it – but there are those in her party who are trying to take it away. She will win! He then tagged Rep. Tom Reed, as one of the Republicans that might vote for her.

The Latest: DeSantis: No reaction to race he declared over

DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before DeSantis even entered the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and visited Florida two more times to help the Republican in the final days of the election.

The New York Times did a phony story, as usual, about my relationship with @VP Mike Pence. They made up sources and refused to ask me, the only one that would know, for a quote, he tweeted. I cant imagine any President having a better or closer relationship with their Vice President then the two of us. Just more FAKE NEWS, the Enemy of the People!

DeSantis’s campaign did not respond to Gillum’s remarks, pointing instead to a statement the former congressman put out two days ago.

“Campaigns are meant to be vigorously debated contests of ideas and competing visions for the future,” DeSantis said. “The campaign for governor achieved this objective as evidenced by historic voter turnout from people of all parties across our state. But campaigns of ideas must give way to governing and bringing people together to secure Florida’s future. With the campaign now over, that’s where all of my focus will be.”

PREVIOUS: Donald Trump took to Twitter early Saturday morning to express his support for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House in the next Congress. The tweet comes after Trump a little over a week ago that Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats.

DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the Aug. 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum.

Heading to California with @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy, @RepLaMalfa, and @KenCalvert. Look forward to being with our brave Firefighters, First Responders and @FEMA, along with the many brave People of California. We are with you all the way – God Bless you all!

Gillum congratulates DeSantis on winning Governor

Despite implications that DeSantis is racially insensitive — an idea he angrily disputed during a debate — he is poised to officially win the state that Trump carried in 2016. He has promised to keep intact many of the same policies on education and health care that have been in place by previous Republican governors.

DeSantis ran as a political outsider despite serving three terms in Congress and running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 before dropping out of the race when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election.

“One of the most effective tactics that the left has is the ability to accuse its opponents of being a racist. Its an impossible negative to dispel. It immediately puts somebody on the defensive and it sends a message to the audience you shouldnt take seriously whats coming out of that persons mouth because theyve been degraded as being a racist.” 

DeSantis is a former Navy officer who graduated from Yale University before getting his law degree at Harvard University.

Still, the left loves to claim racism even when it simply isnt true. While its no longer surprising liberals resort to this attack, it is worth keeping in mind exactly why they do it. The late-great Andrew Breitbart explains why the “Race Card” is so powerful in CL Bryants documentary “Runaway Slave.” 

Democrat Andrew Gillum officially ends bid for Florida governor

He gained name recognition during the primary with more than 100 appearances on Fox News, often to defend the president.

Andrew Gillum Concedes Florida Governors Race: This Has Been the Journey of Our Lives

DeSantis ran a largely negative campaign, calling Gillum a socialist and saying he oversaw one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden cities in the state. Trump joined in on the criticism, tweeting similar messages. The corruption allegation stemmed from a continuing FBI investigation into City Hall that Gillum has said he is not a target of and is cooperating with; the charge that Tallahassee had the state’s highest crime rate was false.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, folks like Judy Beck are positive that had Gillum been a different skin color, then he would have won the race. “Andrew Gillum would have won if he were white,” said Beck, a St. Petersburg retiree and registered Democrat.

Gillum portrayed DeSantis as racially divisive, repeatedly pointing out his “monkey this up” comment.

“If race was the determining factor, Gillum wouldnt have started with a large lead in the polls right after the primary. It only tightened when people found out about his progressive ideas,” said Democratic consultant Barry Edwards of St. Petersburg.

“I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist,” Gillum said previously.

Andrew Gillum ends campaign for Fla. governor

Gillum’s announcement came as most Florida counties were winding down their hand recount in the state’s contentious U.S. Senate race. The smattering of results publicly posted Saturday showed that Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was only gaining a few hundred votes in his bitter contest with outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican.

State officials ordered a manual recount earlier in the week after a legally required machine recount showed that Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race.

Nelson and Democrats filed several lawsuits following the close election, challenging everything from the state’s signature mismatch law to deadlines for mail-in ballots.

If the 76-year-old Nelson loses, it would likely spell an end to a lengthy political career that stretches back four decades. Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A win for Scott would mark his third victory since the multimillionaire businessman launched his political career in 2010. In each race, Scott has barely edged his Democratic opponent.

Andrew Gillum concedes in governors race, congratulates DeSantis

State law requires a machine recount in races where the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less. Once that recount was complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount is ordered. Local canvassing boards only review ballots where a vote was not recorded by voting machines.


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