Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis win primaries for Florida gubernatorial race

Primary day in Florida and Arizona [UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT]

The 39-year-old had been trailing in the polls for months behind former congresswoman Gwen Graham, whose father Bob Graham was a former governor and U.S. Senator of Florida, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

Surging in the final weeks leading into the primary, Gillum's clinching the nomination suggests that the "blue wave" is trending even bluer in 2018.

DeSantis was one of several Republicans running in contests Tuesday in Florida and Arizona who hoped that cozying up to the president would be rewarded by voters.

On the Republican side, it looks like Rep. Ron DeSantis holds a commanding lead over state agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam. "Let's make history this November and make Andrew Gillum the next Governor of Florida", Sanders wrote.

No one imagines that Gillum will have an easy time of it in Florida, a politically-volatile battleground state where Republicans won the 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial races.

"No one person can take on the economic and political elites on their own", Sanders said in a statement after the race was called.

"The job of the governor of the state of Florida is to do what is in the best interest of the people of the state of Florida", Gillum said on Tuesday night.

"All indications that we are going to have an usually high turnout at least in recent years", said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida. "Andrew is a progressive young leader who brings voice and vision for Florida, and I support him 100 percent".

Blaise Ingoglia, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, told The Herald that he welcomes the challenge, saying, "progressive-slash-socialist candidates just don't perform well in general elections". In the Florida win, Dinkins saw an indication that another WFP-backed candidate, Cynthia Nixon, can upset New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in that state's September 13 Democratic primary. Bill Nelson, who is defending his seat against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Though he has received praise from far and wide this week, the three Republican candidates running to replace his retiring seat-mate, Flake - including establishment favorite McSally - aligned themselves more with the president than the longtime senator.

Gillum came from behind in a crowded and diverse Democratic field. "And here we are".

Levine also expressed support for Gillum in a tweet Tuesday night.

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