Jacksonville, FL — The race to replace Florida Governor Rick Scott has now been decided.
Congressman Ron DeSantis is the winner of Florida's GOP nomination for governor, beating out his biggest competition Adam Putnam. DeSantis was endorsed by President Trump.
On the other side of the aisle, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the winner of the crowded Democratic primary for governor, beating out Gwen Graham, in what’s being considered an upset win.
In his acceptance speech, DeSantis began by thanking President Trump for his endorsement, and praising federal policy areas.
“We have 4.1% GDP growth, we’ve got 20-year low unemployment, we have Gorsuch on the US Supreme Court, and we’re gunna add Brett Kavanaugh next. The Iran deal is dead, our embassy in Israel is now in Jerusalem where it belongs, we have our hostages back from North Korea, our taxes have been cut, and the red tape has been reduced. I’d say that’s pretty good work for a year and a half, so let’s keep it going,” he says.
He then spoke about his Florida upbringing, saying he worked low paying jobs to get through college, and then knew when he was done with his military service, that he would come back to Florida. He says the state is “quirky”, but that’s part of its charm.
“It’s a great, unique state, and I think- as the next Governor- I want to keep it a great state,” he says.
DeSantis says he wants to build on the work done by the current Governor, Rick Scott, especially in economic opportunity. He wants to attract a wider variety of high paying jobs, keep taxes low, and maintain reasonable regulations.
Additionally, DeSantis spoke about wanting more vocational and technical training in high schools, more citizenship and Constitution-based education, better water quality, a prohibition on sanctuary cities in Florida, an end to judicial activism, and more.
“I believe there’s no limit to what we can accomplish here, as long as you have the courage to lead. And I pledge to you, as Governor, I will work my butt off to accomplish great things for this state,” he says.
In a political upset, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum wins the Democratic nomination for Florida Governor. Political analysts had former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham as the front runner over Gillum and a crowded field of Democratic candidates. During the primary campaign, Gillum only spent $6.5 million dollars meanwhile other candidate’s businessman Jeff Greene who spent $38 million and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine who spent about $29 million.
Gillum is considered a progressive and even received an endorsement from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during the primary election season.
During his victory speech Tuesday night, Gillum said he wants to go out across the state and help unite people.
“This is not my moment, this is our moment.” Gillum said.
In the speech he mentioned possible plans for education, wage increases for workers, environmental protections, expanding medicade, and criminal Justice reform.
If elected, Gillum would become the first African American Governor in Florida’s history.