Yet there may be more at stake here than who governs these two states.
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”.
During an interview on Fox News, DeSantis praised Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, as “an articulate spokesman” for those holding “far-left views”, but warned he would be damaging to the state.
CNN published two articles headlined: “Florida’s GOP gubernatorial nominee says a vote for his black opponent would “monkey this up””, and “GOP candidate accused of using racist term”, both casting DeSantis’s “monkey this up” remark as racist. The amount of money that’s going to be spent in this state by November will probably be staggering.
Besides Graham, Gillum turned back former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who poured $29 million of his personal wealth into the race and saturated the state with 30 different campaign ads. I assume that Gillum has the African-American vote in his pocket and that, with the chance to elect an African-American governor and with a hot Senate race to vote in, Black turnout will be substantial with or without the outrage being feigned over DeSantis’ comment. Is he trying to win at racist bingo or the Governor’s race? In contrast, DeSantis has been one of President Trump’s fiercest and most visible advocates in the House of Representatives.
Gillum has said since the beginning he was told that he is not a target. His opponents didn’t go after what could prove to be Gillum’s biggest vulnerability, ongoing investigations into possible corruption in Tallahassee government, where he is mayor.
DeSantis’ win buoyed the believers of QAnon, the online movement allegedly headed by someone deep within the Trump administration who drops cryptic posts about things that will supposedly happen.
Gillum welcomed the support of Color of Change, Indivisible, Democracy for America, Our Revolution, the Working Families Party, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Women’s March Florida, National Nurses Union, NextGen America, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and other progressive groups. It should be pointed out that Republicans turned out in greater numbers for their gubernatorial primary.
Gillum, meanwhile, relied on a grassroots campaign in the big-money Democratic primary.
Republican primary voters overwhelmingly supported DeSantis in Tuesday’s election over Adam Putnam, a 20-year political veteran once considered the front-runner until Trump interjected.
If elected, Gillum would be Florida’s first African-American governor. Greene also canceled his election night party, another sign he didn’t see the likelihood of a win.
Marquez Peterson beat Brandon Martin, Danny Morales and Casey Welch in Tuesday’s primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. It has nearly an equal number of registered Democrats and Republicans. The run-up to November will be a bloody battle for independent voters in which race and the President will be major factors, Sunshine State political observers tell TPM. He also ran for Senate in 2016 but dropped out when Republican Sen.
Gillum didn’t make race an issue during the primary.