Andrew Gillum concedes Florida governor's race to Ron DeSantis

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, conceded to his Republican opponent, forme...

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 3:48 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 3:48 AM

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, conceded to his Republican opponent, former Rep. Ron DeSantis, on Saturday, ending a protracted fight that saw the Tallahassee mayor take back his Election Day concession during a statewide recount.

The concession ended Gillum's first bid for statewide office in Florida, but the run -- despite his loss -- vaulted the 39-year old politician into the upper echelons of Democratic politics.

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"R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida," Gillum said in a Facebook video in which he appeared alongside his wife. "This has been the journey of our lives."

DeSantis responded to Gillum's concession with a call for unity.

"This was a hard-fought campaign," he wrote on Twitter. "Now it's time to bring Florida together."

The reality, however, is that the race between DeSantis and Gillum was anything but unifying. The contest was a heated affair that largely reflected the broader national tensions over race and class in the Trump era.

Those issues, which were already bubbling up throughout the primary, were escalated by DeSantis when he went on Fox News a day after the primary to warn Florida voters not to "monkey this up" by electing Gillum. DeSantis denied there was any racial innuendo in his remark, but race -- and allegations that DeSantis was using it against his opponent -- were never far off during the 10-week general election sprint.

They hit a boiling point during the pair's second and final debate. DeSantis loudly objected to suggestions he was in cahoots with far-right figures or that his ties -- unwitting, he said -- to white supremacists should be held against him.

"Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist," Gillum said in response. "I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist."

If that line earned Gillum viral praise and national recognition, his indirect connections to an FBI investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee was a drag on his campaign, which at times struggled to explain Gillum's relationship with a former lobbyist and friend and his run-ins with an undercover federal agent. Gillum maintained throughout the campaign that the FBI told him he was not a target of the probe, which could continue to dog him in the coming months or years.

DeSantis has largely flown under the radar since Election Day. The conservative lawmaker began to put together a gubernatorial transition shortly after Election Day despite the ongoing recount.

Gillum, after conceding the race on Election Night, took back his concession as late-counted ballots brought the race within just over 33,000 votes.

"I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote," he said, after Florida election officials ordered a recount in three statewide contests.

Gillum's race all but ended on Thursday, however, when the machine portion of the recount ended and DeSantis lost only one vote on the Tallahassee mayor. Because Gillum's race did not fall within the .25% standard that automatically triggers a manual recount, there was nowhere near the number of votes need for Gillum to close the gap.

The state's Senate race, between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott, and Florida's race for agriculture commissioner did fall within that margin and are currently in the midst of a hand recount.

Gillum's fight during the recount, however, became bigger than just winning the race. He and other Democrats repeatedly said they were sticking with the campaign until all legally cast votes were counted. Lawyers for Democratic interests, including Nelson's campaign, looked to expand the number of available votes in federal court by overturning a series of Florida election laws, but those efforts largely failed.

Gillum or his campaign were not party to any of those suits, but he could have stood to benefit from them.

Gillum acknowledged this fight in his concession video.

"This was not just about an election cycle, this was about creating the kind of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up against in our government," Gillum said. "We know that this fight continues."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 735999

Reported Deaths: 13486
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1007151752
Lake54249977
Allen40946680
St. Joseph36335553
Hamilton35829408
Elkhart28844443
Tippecanoe22475219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18946311
Johnson18067381
Hendricks17317315
Clark13036192
Madison12762339
Vigo12501249
LaPorte12086215
Monroe11957172
Delaware10755187
Howard10001218
Kosciusko9466117
Hancock8373142
Bartholomew8098156
Warrick7799155
Floyd7690178
Grant7098174
Wayne7072199
Boone6745101
Morgan6611140
Dubois6166117
Marshall6111112
Cass5876105
Dearborn583178
Henry5785105
Noble565984
Jackson503773
Shelby494396
Lawrence4602120
Gibson437192
Harrison436672
DeKalb430585
Clinton428453
Montgomery425889
Whitley398739
Huntington394480
Steuben391057
Miami383968
Knox372890
Jasper372649
Putnam363760
Wabash355380
Adams342755
Ripley340770
Jefferson331881
White317754
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette282162
Greene280585
Posey272034
LaGrange268970
Scott267554
Clay261347
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232931
Jennings230949
Starke219354
Fountain213946
Sullivan212242
Owen203356
Jay197830
Fulton196040
Carroll190420
Orange184754
Perry184637
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168535
Tipton163445
Parke146716
Pike135634
Blackford135132
Pulaski117445
Newton108934
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1091623

Reported Deaths: 19528
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1268061406
Cuyahoga1132982134
Hamilton804211211
Montgomery518231015
Summit47606955
Lucas42618792
Butler38548585
Stark32661909
Lorain25199486
Warren24390300
Mahoning21795588
Lake20846371
Clermont19880240
Delaware18608133
Licking16488212
Fairfield16327200
Trumbull16196468
Medina15379266
Greene15143244
Clark14096299
Wood13168189
Portage12966206
Allen11740232
Richland11433199
Miami10713220
Wayne8923214
Columbiana8881229
Muskingum8831133
Pickaway8596121
Marion8561136
Tuscarawas8509245
Erie7958155
Hancock6944128
Ashtabula6904172
Ross6876156
Geauga6741148
Scioto6444102
Belmont5978168
Union575448
Lawrence5590102
Jefferson5583151
Huron5462120
Sandusky5380122
Darke5374126
Seneca5311122
Washington5228109
Athens520858
Auglaize494986
Mercer481585
Shelby470293
Knox4513110
Madison439363
Putnam4301101
Ashland426590
Fulton426469
Defiance424697
Crawford3993107
Brown397557
Logan383276
Preble381398
Clinton374163
Ottawa369081
Highland356862
Williams343475
Champaign335358
Guernsey317653
Jackson314152
Perry295950
Morrow287239
Fayette283550
Hardin271964
Henry270366
Coshocton266157
Holmes2625101
Van Wert244263
Adams240053
Pike238634
Gallia236749
Wyandot232155
Hocking216462
Carroll192448
Paulding174340
Meigs145540
Noble134137
Monroe132542
Harrison109637
Morgan108823
Vinton84915
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Decatur
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A system will bring spotty showers and thunderstorms to the region Wednesday afternoon.
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