Andrew Gillum Concedes To Ron DeSantis In Tight Florida Governor Race

Andrew Gillum Concedes To Ron DeSantis In Tight Florida Governor Race

11:32pm Nov 06, 2018
Ron DeSantis meets with supporters at a rally Monday in Orlando, Fla.
Ron DeSantis meets with supporters at a rally Monday in Orlando, Fla.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Andrew Gillum has ended his bid to become Florida's first black governor.

The Associated Press has yet to project a winner in the race, but the Tallahassee mayor conceded to his Republican opponent, former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis. The concession likely ends a nail-biter of a race between the two men, who by late Tuesday night remained separated by just 1 percentage point.

The win did not come easily.

Gillum rode an unapologetically progressive platform to an upset victory in the Democratic primary earlier this year, shocking his better-funded opponents to emerge as a fitting foil to DeSantis. Endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Gillum mobilized his liberal base to face DeSantis, who made no bones about his close support for President Trump.

DeSantis, for his part, won his own primary against his more moderate opponent by a surprisingly wide margin.

Yet in this battle of progressive and conservative favorites, it was ultimately DeSantis who emerged with the general election win. He has promised to reduce the corporate income tax and has railed against "government takeover of health care."

The state's other marquee race remains too close to call.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is deadlocked with term-limited Gov. Rick Scott in a battle of the state's political heavyweights. So far, neither one has delivered the decisive haymaker, and both men stand with 50 percent apiece in Tuesday's closing hours.

After defeats sustained by Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana and challenger Beto O'Rourke in Texas, Democrats' fading hopes to retake the Senate hinge on Nelson pulling out the win in Florida — plus several other things going right for the party across the country.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Support your
public radio station