TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Racism immediately became an issue in the Florida governor’s race Wednesday as both nominees made predictions: The Democrat said voters aren’t looking for a misogynist, racist or bigot, while the Republican said voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by choosing his black opponent.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a far-left Democrat seeking to become the state’s first black governor, and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Trump-endorsed Republican, are political opposites, both seeking to gin up turnout among the party’s most ardent supporters.
Asked if he’s afraid of President Donald Trump’s support for DeSantis, Gillum told CNN that his race is about uniting the state.
“I actually believe that Florida and its rich diversity are going to be looking for a governor who’s going to bring us together, not divide us. Not misogynist, not racist, not bigots, they’re going to be looking for a governor who is going to appeal to our higher aspirations as a state,” Gillum said.
Meanwhile, on Fox News, DeSantis called Gillum an “articulate” candidate, but said “the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting this state.”
Democrats immediately decried DeSantis’ comment as racist, but the DeSantis campaign clarified that his comments were directed at Gillum’s policies, not the candidate himself.