Republican Ron DeSantis wins Florida governor election, CNN projects

Republican Ron DeSantis will win the race to become Florida's 46th governor, CNN projects, defeating Democra...

Posted: Nov 7, 2018 9:23 AM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 9:23 AM

Republican Ron DeSantis will win the race to become Florida's 46th governor, CNN projects, defeating Democrat Andrew Gillum to become the state's fourth consecutive GOP chief executive.

By outlasting Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor vying to become Florida's first African-American governor, DeSantis also gave a boost to President Donald Trump, who campaigned for the former congressman at two events in the final days before the election -- and whose endorsement DeSantis traded on to win the nomination over the establishment favorite, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

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DeSantis quit his job in Congress to focus on the gubernatorial race, 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 becoming the nominee 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.

Tensions 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.

In one final twist, DeSantis, who throughout the campaign portrayed Tallahassee as crime-ridden and dangerous, will now be moving there to do his new job -- right alongside the city's mayor, (still) Andrew Gillum.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1003647

Reported Deaths: 16423
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1351072116
Lake661851159
Allen57674800
Hamilton46217464
St. Joseph44210611
Elkhart35807508
Vanderburgh32162480
Tippecanoe27859258
Johnson25007444
Hendricks23795357
Porter22856365
Madison18694408
Clark18505252
Vigo17393303
Monroe15218199
LaPorte15101250
Delaware15024261
Howard14681289
Kosciusko12260147
Hancock11682175
Bartholomew11548180
Warrick11270189
Floyd11059214
Wayne10946253
Grant10019219
Morgan9438176
Boone8891116
Dubois8249131
Dearborn819893
Henry8174152
Noble8003106
Marshall7891135
Cass7519121
Lawrence7433171
Shelby7171119
Jackson695889
Gibson6567115
Harrison646691
Huntington636899
Knox6360106
DeKalb628699
Montgomery6229109
Miami591498
Putnam577678
Clinton572171
Whitley563455
Steuben558976
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Jasper527879
Jefferson509297
Ripley498686
Adams479775
Daviess4653114
Scott438473
Greene423596
Wells422588
Clay421360
White417364
Decatur4152102
Fayette405787
Jennings385961
Posey375844
Washington356150
LaGrange356078
Randolph343499
Spencer338743
Fountain333860
Sullivan327852
Starke315570
Owen313970
Fulton309167
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Jay283445
Franklin265143
Perry264852
Rush260832
Carroll260633
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Pike228443
Tipton227259
Blackford191841
Pulaski183157
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Benton150217
Brown145747
Martin138019
Switzerland134811
Warren120816
Union107016
Ohio84213
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