Ron DeSantis to become Florida governor after Andrew Gillum concedes
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Republicans will keep control of the Florida State Capitol as Trump-backed Rep. Ron DeSantis is on track to win Florida’s tight gubernatorial race, ABC News projects based on exit polls.
The close nature of this election continued Florida’s tradition of having consequential elections, and national attention on the race followed.
President Donald Trump endorsed DeSantis shortly after he won his primary, and the president went on to campaign for him in his so-called second home state. Trump carried the state by a slim margin over in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump wasn’t the only presidential player who waded into this state-level race, as former President Barack Obama rallied for Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, ahead of the election as well.
Florida Democrats hoped to use the election as a referendum on Trump and highlight issues that have affected their state, like environmental disasters, gun policy and economic development. Republicans campaigned on maintaining the economic growth fostered under Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who was term-limited and is running for Senate in the state this year.
However, race quickly became a focal point in the election with DeSantis, who is white, saying shortly after his primary win the last thing Floridians should do is “monkey this up” by electing his African-American progressive opponent.
Floridians were visibly invested in this race, with 3.1 million primary voters breaking midterm records in late August.
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