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DeSantis, Gillum win nominations in Florida Governor's race

Posted: 7:59 PM, Aug 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-29 01:39:56Z
Florida gubernatorial races on the line Tuesday
Florida gubernatorial races on the line Tuesday

UPDATE - (9:10PM) -- Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has won the Democratic nomination in his quest to become Florida's first black governor.
  
Gillum won the primary Tuesday after upsetting a field of better-known and better funded candidates. He defeated a field that included former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, who aimed to follow her father to the office and become the state's first woman governor.
  
Gillum was a favorite among many groups that call themselves progressive Democrats. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed him.
  
Gillum spent only $6.5 million on a primary where billionaire Jeff Greene spent $38 million and millionaire former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine spent about $29 million of his fortune.
  
He faces Republican nominee U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in the race to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

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UPDATE (8PM) -- U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis has won Florida's Republican nomination for governor, with the help of President Donald Trump's endorsement to overtake an opponent with a long history in Florida politics.
  
DeSantis defeated Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on Tuesday and faces the Democratic challenger in the race to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
  
DeSantis entered the race in January and largely built his name recognition with near-nightly Fox News appearances. Trump's endorsement helped him overtake Putnam, who has held elected office nearly his entire adult life.
  
DeSantis is a former Navy lawyer who won his seat in 2012 running as a Washington outsider. He ran for Senate in 2016 but dropped out of the race when Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election after a failed presidential campaign.

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All eyes are on Florida Tuesday night.  In an important swing state, who wins the gubernatorial race will give both parties an idea of how to position themselves this fall and in the 2020 presidential election.

For current Agriculture Commissioner and Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, what was supposed to be an easy race is now an uphill battle thanks to President Trump. Putnam, who has been in politics for more than 20-years was supposed to be next in line until the president's visit to Tampa in late July. That's when the president endorsed Putnam's challenger Congressman Ron DeSantis. DeSantis' numbers shot up days after and, if the polls are to believed, he still leads Putnam.  

The race for the Democrat nomination is a bit more complicated. There are five candidates vying for the Democrat nomination. Billionaire businessman Jeff Greene, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, businessman Chris King, former congresswoman Gwen Graham and former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine.

The polls show Graham and Levine in a tight race as both stake out very specific constituencies. 

Graham, the daughter of former Florida governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham has staked out the middle ground as she looks toward the general election where she will need Independents and maybe even some Republicans to put her over the top.

Levine is courting the far left wing of the Democrat party in an effort to replicate successes in other states where more liberal candidates have pulled off surprise wins.

Make sure you tune in to Fox4 News at 10 for results and analysis.