TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - 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. DeSantis rode a robust endorsement from President Donald Trump to victory Tuesday in Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary. DeSantis was one of several Republicans running in contests in Florida and Arizona who hoped that cozying up to the president would be rewarded by voters.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is vacating the governor's mansion to run for Senate. He easily won his primary, setting up a showdown with Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson that is expected to be one of the nation's most competitive races.
Republicans have dominated midterm elections in Florida for two decades. This year Democrats are hoping for a "blue wave," thinking that anger over President Donald Trump might boost turnout.
The Democratic primary for governor was the most crowded since 1978, when, like this year, there were seven candidates on the ballot.