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Twitter drags Trump-backed Florida candidate for racist comment

31 August 2018

DeSantis, who won the Republican nomination by almost 20 percentage points this week thanks in part to the endorsement of President Donald Trump, will face off against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum - who was the upset victor in the Democratic Party primary and became the first African-American to be a major party nominee for the state's top office.

"They're going to be looking for a governor who is going to appeal to our higher aspirations as a state", he said, "who's going to talk about what it means to build a Florida that makes room for all of us and not just some of us".

Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis has been denounced by the Democrats and the media as racist, for saying voters shouldn't "monkey this up" by voting for his socialist opponent, who happens to be black.

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In an appearance on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily", Gillum told host Chuck Todd that the voters of Florida are "better than this". How much influence does the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party have? And city hall itself has been under investigation by the FBI for corruption, although Gillum has said he is not a target of the investigation. "They've done it before, and unfortunately, it was far too close to an election that I think impacted its outcome", said Gillum.

Throughout the primary election cycle, the polls showed Gillum trailing the presumed front-runners, North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham and former Miami Beach Mayor.

The former Air Force fighter pilot will now face off against Democrat Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema in the midterms, who won her primary race in a landslide after clinching 80-percent of the vote. Smith also read from a statement in which DeSantis's campaign suggested it was "absurd" to characterize the candidate's remarks as racist.

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"Listen, I've been elected for 15 years, I don't mind taking a punch and I can deliver one myself", Gillum said. By one count, the Gillum campaign had only spent $6.6 million by Tuesday, far less than his opponents. It's how Scott won two terms as governor even as President Barack Obama was winning Florida twice.

DeSantis has already repeatedly hammered Gillum for calling for a 40 percent increase in the corporate tax rate to raise $1 billion for Florida schools. Both candidates have been around for a while (Nelson's been a senator since 2001, while Scott became governor in 2011), so neither is an outsider.

The work at these weekly phone banks is to try and flip traditional Republican strongholds in Califonria where voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. "As I talked to him about what I believed, I told him, straight up, 'In your brand of politics, you are never going to have anyone come out of these primaries who shares that belief system if you don't get involved.' " He needed money to beat money.

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This article was reported by The Associated Press, with contributions from Brian Witte.

Twitter drags Trump-backed Florida candidate for racist comment