Florida candidate makes 'monkey' comment about black opponent

Simon Moss
August 30, 2018

Andrew Gillum would become Florida's first African American governor if elected in November.

The strategy worked, and many voters say that's what convinced them to support DeSantis. "We're going to try to compel and appeal to the higher values of the people of the state of Florida". But Gillum took the most liberal positions on most issues - and forcefully advocated that a genuine, progressive stance was the way for Democratic candidates to win elections.

DeSantis said he is more concerned with Gillum's plan to greatly hike business taxes in the state, adding that such a move would reverse progress made under Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and President Donald Trump.

During his Fox interview, DeSantis said Gillum had outperformed other Democrats in the primary.

If elected, Gillum would become the state's first black governor.

DeSantis' comment sparked an immediate outcry and an apology from the Fox News host.

Although he didn't mention Gillum by name, DeSantis was referring to how he perceives Gillum's policies. "He thinks that in today's day and age Florida's voters are going to respond to that level of division".

The Tallahassee mayor beat out the other top 3 candidates in the race with 34.3-percent of the vote.

Gillum ran to the left of his Democratic opponents in the primary, calling for Medicare for all, a $15-an-hour minimum wage and the abolishment of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. "That's not going to be good for Florida".

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On Tuesday, Ron DeSantis was declared the victor in Florida's republican gubernatorial primary, facing off against the state's agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam.

DeSantis is a disciple of the Trump "Make America Great Again" agenda and regularly defends the president against criticism.

In a statement from DeSantis' campaign made to Fox News, the campaign dismissed these characterizations as "absurd".

Mr DeSantis also called the Tallahasee mayor, who surprisingly won the Democratic primary for Florida governor, an "articulate" spokesman for "far-left views".

Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick won the Democratic nomination for McSally's congressional seat in the suburbs around Tucson.

"You really need to go, not so much to the right but to the middle", Batchelor said.

Josie Parke, 68, an interior designer in Coral Gables, said Trump's backing swayed her vote for DeSantis, too. On Twitter earlier on Wednesday, the president slammed Gillum as a "failed" mayor, without citing examples. "Andrew is a progressive young leader who brings voice and vision for Florida, and I support him 100 percent".

Tallahassee has seen a spike in homicides, but its overall crime rate has declined, although it remains the highest in the state.

Florida (which also had primaries on Tuesday) and Arizona are both closely watched states, featuring growing minority populations that have bolstered Democratic candidates and Republican electorates that have grown older and more conservative. In just four of 36 races Tuesday night, a female Republican candidate emerged as the preferred choice of GOP primary voters.

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