Southwest Florida Democrats are demanding an apology from Republican nominee for governor Ron DeSantis.
He made national headlines making what some call racial comments describing his black opponent, Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum.
During a Fox News Channel interview, DeSantis told Floridians not to "monkey up" the election by electing Andrew Gillum.
“We believe Florida to be far better than that, to have that kind of racial overtones being used,” said Collier County NAACP Chairman Vincent Keeys.
Collier County Republicans say, although it may have been a poor choice of words, DeSantis' comments were taken out of context.
“Having the opportunity to know Congressman DeSantis, as well as spent several occasions with him during the campaign for governor, he doesn't come across to me at as a person who has these types of feelings,” said Collier County Republican Chairman Ron Kezeske.
DeSantis soared to an easy nomination after President Trump endorsed him this summer. Gillum benefited in an upset win in the Democratic primary thanks to an endorsement from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
In the interview, DeSantis tried to paint Gillum as a socialist, something Collier Democrats say is a badge of honor.
“Every time someone shows a platform geared to the working class, people want to attack them as a socialist or a communist, because that's the only way not to get that person elected,” said Collier County Democratic Chairwoman Yudy Barberra.
4 in Your Corner reached out to the DeSantis campaign for comment but have yet to hear back.
President Trump said he did not hear the DeSantis comment, he told reporters he continues to support DeSantis.