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Ron DeSantis rides Trumpism to victory, defeats Andrew Gillum in Florida (updated)
DeSantis flirted with Trumpism—and it paid off.
Update: Andrew Gillum has retracted his concession after Florida’s election law triggered a recount of the state’s ballots.
Florida governor results 2018: DeSantis wins
DeSantis is one of the first candidates to run on the Trump model and ride it to victory.
He kicked off his campaign with an ad that was a tribute to President Donald Trump and flirted with the kind of charged language and behaviors Trump mainstreamed in American politics.
However, his conservative bonafides helped carry him in the state that went for Trump in 2016.
DeSantis was able to cast his opponent as a socialist who would enact policies that would bankrupt the state of Florida. DeSantis routinely pointed to Gillum’s time as mayor in Tallahassee to highlight how progressivism wouldn’t work in the Sunshine State. He routinely went after Gillum for the crime rate in Tallahassee and for his taxes on corporations, which funded public education.
DeSantis also benefited from the staunch support of Trump, who frequently attacked Gillum on Twitter, at one point calling him a “thief.”
Gillum conceded the race to DeSantis at 10:00pm CT in a speech to supporters.
DeSantis will replace Rick Scott, who left the governor’s office run for Senate.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]