Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Saturday, ending a high-profile and highly contentious race to become governor of Florida.
Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, announced his decision in a Facebook Live post.
Gillum said he wanted “to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida.”
A companion tweet gave a shout-out to his supporters.
I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida. My wife R. Jai and I could not be prouder of the way we ran this race. We could not be more thankful to my running mate, @ChrisKingFL and his wife Kristen.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 17, 2018
“I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida. My wife R. Jai and I could not be prouder of the way we ran this race,” Gillum tweeted. “Most importantly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being part of this campaign. I wouldn’t be here without the support that was shown by millions of Floridians. I encourage y’all to keep fighting for what we believe in.”
When the polls closed Nov. 6, Gillum conceded the race, but then withdrew that concession as the gap between the candidates closed.
Gillum’s concession Saturday followed a machine recount that showed DeSantis with a lead of more than 30,000 votes, Fox News reported.
The campaign overflowed with charges of racism against DeSantis, who is white, from Gillum, who is black. In the aftermath of the election. Gillum’s campaign accused Florida of suppressing votes that would have been cast on Gillum’s behalf.
However, no facts were found to substantiate those suppression charges.
In his concession, Gillum framed the election as one battle in a larger war.
“This was about creating the kind of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government and our state and our communities,” he said. “We know that this fight continues in spite of the outcome of this election, R Jai and I are committing ourselves alongside each and every one of you.”
“Stay tuned,” he said. “There will be more to come.”
President Donnald Trump, who strongly supported DeSantis, agreed in a tweet that the political world had not seen the last of Gillum.
Congratulations to Andrew Gillum on having run a really tough and competitive race for Governor of the Great State of Florida. He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future – a force to reckon with!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2018
“Congratulations to Andrew Gillum on having run a really tough and competitive race for Governor of the Great State of Florida. He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future – a force to reckon with!” Trump tweeted.
DeSantis issued a call for unity after Gillum conceded.
“This was a hard-fought campaign. Now it’s time to bring Florida together,” he tweeted.
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