Florida’s Gillum gets money and attention after upset win

Kelli Ward speaks at a campaign rally Oct. 17 2017 in Scottsdale Ariz

Ross D. Franklin APArizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward speaks at a campaign rally Oct. 17 2017 in Scottsdale Ariz

Fox News host Sandra Smith, who interviewed DeSantis, later said on air that the network does "not condone this language".

It was a Trump rally on July 31 in Tampa, which happens to be the state's largest media market, that helped propel DeSantis, a three-term congressman from Ponte Vedra Beach, past Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the primary.

The Republican Governors Association plans to target all three Democrats for supporting expensive social welfare programs, spokesman Jon Thompson said.

During an appearance on MSNBC, guest Mark Thompson compared the comments to calling Gillum a rascist label. State governors will play a key role in legislative reapportionments that emerge from the 2020 census. Republicans plan to use an FBI investigation of Tallahassee's municipal government against Gillum, though he's not directly been named a subject.

Gillum, who defeated former Rep. Gwen Graham and two other candidates, would be Florida's first black governor if elected in November.

"President Donald Trump attacked Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum Wednesday as a 'failed socialist" - hours after Gillum's historic upset primary win.

"He's already incriminated himself by interfering with the Department of Justice, " Gillum said.

Stephen Lawson, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, said the comment had nothing to do with race.

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GILLUM: I would ask people to measure me by my actions.

"I understand he's trying to put down his opponent, as every politician everywhere does, but in this moment, it comes across as racially charged", said Williams, noting that DeSantis had also described his opponent as "articulate" and a "socialist".

US Representative Ron DeSantis, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump who won his party's nomination on Tuesday, made the remarks on Fox News and immediately came under fire for their negative racial undertones.

Tallahassee has had one of the Florida's highest crime rates in recent years though it has been going down. Gillum supports Medicare for all, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and impeaching President Trump.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis.

In an interview with Politico, Gillum said Florida would be "looking for a governor that was going to bring us together, not divide us". "We can talk to people in a commonsensical way about the issues that confront them, and quite frankly it doesn't matter if you're in the rural panhandle of Florida or the I-4 corridor". Democrat Stacey Abrams won the party's nomination in Georgia in May.

At the White House, Mr Trump told reporters he had not heard about Mr DeSantis's comments, and praised the Republican candidate as "extraordinary". "Not misogynist, not racist, not bigots", he said.

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