cloudy.png
Sunday October 25th, 2020 3:32PM

Liberal Gillum, Trump-backed DeSantis win Florida primaries

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) — A liberal Florida Democrat pulled off an upset victory Tuesday in the state's primary for governor while President Donald Trump's favored candidate cruised to victory for the GOP, setting up a fierce fall showdown in the nation's largest political battleground. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who would be the state's first black governor, and Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, both defeated more moderate opponents aligned with their parties' establishment.

Gillum is his party's third black gubernatorial nominee this campaign season, along with Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Ben Jealous in Maryland. His victory comes as Democrats have elevated an increasingly diverse field of candidates, including women, African-Americans and Muslims. The slate of candidates heading into the fall campaign is seen as a manifestation of the party's resistance in the racially charged atmosphere of the Trump era.

In Arizona, Rep. Martha McSally fended off a pair of conservative challengers to carry the Republican Senate primary to fill the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake. That race was shadowed by the death of John McCain, a towering figure who represented Arizona in the Senate for six terms. Gov. Doug Ducey will name McCain's replacement after the senator's funeral.

Florida and Arizona are both closely watched states, featuring growing minority populations that have bolstered Democratic candidates and Republican electorates that have grown older and more conservative. The fall face-offs could well signal how they'll swing in the 2020 presidential election.

In Florida, DeSantis gave Trump credit for his victory, saying that with one supportive tweet, the president "kind of put me on the map."

Gillum thanked supporters who embraced "our plan for a state that makes room for all of us, not just the well-heeled and the well-connected, but all of us."

The results immediately transformed the Florida race into one of the key gubernatorial campaigns in the country. Gillum's primary victory could help Democrats boost enthusiasm among minorities, while DeSantis will test Trump's grip on a crucial state he won in 2016 and wants to keep in his column in 2020.

In Arizona, McCain's death after a yearlong battle with brain cancer loomed over the primary contests.

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.

Elsewhere Tuesday, GOP voters in reliably Republican Oklahoma backed mortgage company owner Kevin Stitt in a runoff for the gubernatorial nomination. Stitt won in part by criticizing his opponent as insufficiently supportive of Trump.

Trump surprised Florida Republicans with his endorsement of DeSantis, and frequently tweeted about the lawmaker, one of his staunchest supporters in Washington. His backing helped push DeSantis past Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who has held elected office in Florida since 1996, quickly built up establishment support and raised millions of dollars.

Gillum came from behind in a crowded and diverse Democratic field. Former Rep. Gwen Graham, whose father, Bob Graham, served as governor, had hoped to position herself to become the state's first female governor.

Gillum, a favorite of progressives, spent the least of the five major Democratic candidates and had the smallest television presence. He often said he was the only candidate in the race who wasn't a millionaire or billionaire, and won the endorsement of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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.

Democrats also eyed congressional pickup opportunities in Florida as they try to flip control of the U.S. House. One of their best chances is in South Florida, where Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is retiring in a district that should favor Democrats.

Donna Shalala, who served as President Bill Clinton's Health and Human Services secretary, claimed the Democratic nomination in Ros-Lehtinen's district.

The contests in both Florida and Arizona were being watched for signs of how the states might tilt in the 2020 presidential election.

McCain's death has highlighted anew the shift in the Republican Party since he captured the GOP nomination for president in 2008. With his consistently conservative voting record, Arizonans elected McCain to the Senate six times, including in 2016. But his more moderate stance on immigration and his deciding vote last year against Trump's efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law turned off many GOP voters.

A CNN survey in June found that 67 percent of Democrats had a favorable opinion of McCain, while just 33 percent of Republicans did.

Among those on the Arizona ballot was former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who tried unsuccessfully to unseat McCain in 2016. When McCain's family said last week that he was discontinuing medical treatment, Ward speculated in a later-deleted Facebook post that the announcement was intended to hurt her campaign for Flake's seat.

Also running for the Senate nomination was former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the controversial immigration hardliner. Trump spared Arpaio a possible jail sentence last year by pardoning his federal conviction stemming from immigration patrols.

Ward and Arpaio split about half of the vote, clearing the way for McSally, a fighter pilot turned congresswoman in the McCain mold. She'll face Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who easily won her race.

McSally wasted no time taking on her Democratic opponent, calling the race "a choice between a doer and a talker, between a patriot and a protester."

Sinema's and McSally's Senate runs also have created House openings in Arizona, a fast-growing and increasingly diverse state where Democrats are eager to gain a foothold. McSally's district in particular is expected to be one of the most competitive House races in November's general election.

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick emerged from a competitive Democratic primary to win the nomination for the seat.

___

Pace reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Joe Reedy in Tallahassee, Florida, Nicholas Riccardi in Phoenix, Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City, AP polling editor Emily Swanson in Washington, Kelli Kennedy in Miami and Freida Frisaro in Fort Lauderdale contributed to this report.

___

On Twitter, follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Brendan Farrington at http://twitter.com/bsfarrington

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Asian stock markets mostly higher after Wall Street gain
Asian stocks edge higher after Wall Street gains
11:26PM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Latest: 2017 runner-up Keys into US Open's 2nd round
The Latest: 2017 runner-up Keys into US Open's 2nd round
11:21PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Red Sox score on throwing error in 9th, beat Marlins 8-7
J.D. Martinez scored when Marlins shortstop JT Riddle threw away a potential double-play ball in the ninth inning, lifting the Boston Red Sox over Miami 8-7 following a wild, back-and-forth final two innings
11:19PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Archaeologists dig Native American fort found in Connecticut
Archaeologists are marveling at the site of a 1600s Native American fort in Connecticut that was uncovered as part of a rail bridge replacement project
10:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Arizona Senate primary run in Trump's shadow
Arizona's Republicans on Tuesday will decide a three-way battle over which candidate to nominate to replace the state's junior U.S. senator, who is retiring because he has no political future after criticizing President Donald Trump
10:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
Fans mourn Aretha Franklin at gospel-infused public viewing
Fans bow, blow kisses toward Aretha Franklin at public viewing that highlights her gospel legacy
10:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Texan says he's selling 3D-printed gun plans, despite ruling
The owner of a Texas company that makes untraceable 3D-printed guns says he has begun selling the blueprints through his website to anyone who wants to make one, despite a federal court order barring him from posting the plans online
7:27PM ( 4 hours ago )
UN experts: Possible war crimes by all parties in Yemen
U.N. human rights experts say the governments of Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia may have been responsible for war crimes since Yemen's conflict intensified 3½ years ago
7:25PM ( 4 hours ago )
Arizona primary shadowed by death of McCain
Death of Sen. John McCain is shadowing Tuesday's primary contests in Arizona
7:14PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Mortgage company head wins GOP primary for Oklahoma governor
Tulsa mortgage company owner and political newcomer Kevin Stitt won the Republican nomination in the race to become Oklahoma's next governor
10:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump-backed DeSantis wins Florida GOP primary for governor
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis rode President Trump's endorsement to victory in Florida's Republican primary for governor Tuesday, defeating a longtime favorite of the Republican establishment with a campaign based largely around the president
8:16PM ( 3 hours ago )
Mayor, businessman face off in Oklahoma governor GOP runoff
The race for the GOP nomination in Oklahoma's race for governor could hinge less on experience and ideology, and more on the state's geography and the candidates' allegiance to President Donald Trump
7:48PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Bill Gates directs education funding to poor US schools
Marking another phase in his education agenda, Bill Gates is now taking a more targeted approach to help America's struggling schools
4:51PM ( 6 hours ago )
McCain's death shadows Republican primary in Arizona
Death of Sen. John McCain is shadowing Tuesday's primary contests in Arizona
3:37PM ( 8 hours ago )
Florida primary includes Trump defender, female trailblazer
A conservative Republican congressman supported by President Donald Trump and the daughter of a former governor who is seeking to become the first female chief executive are the featured candidates in Florida's gubernatorial primaries.
3:12PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Florida primary features Trump defender in governor's race
Florida voters are going to the polls to select nominees to replace Republican Gov. Rick Scott in an election that's caught the attention of President Donald Trump
10:06AM ( 13 hours ago )
Judges: Congress map still unlawful with partisan bias
Federal judges have affirmed their earlier decision striking North Carolina's congressional districts as unconstitutional because Republicans drew them with excessive partisanship
1:59AM ( 21 hours ago )
Who is Bruce Ohr? Justice official has attracted GOP ire
Once a relatively anonymous lawyer at the Justice Department, Bruce Ohr is now the subject of GOP criticism
1:48AM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Makeshift memorials for McCain grow in Phoenix
Mourners are visiting two makeshift memorials for John McCain in Arizona
5:30PM ( 1 day ago )
Ugandan pop star, government critic Bobi Wine free on bail
Ugandan pop star and member of parliament Bobi Wine has been freed on bail
12:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Colombia anti-corruption referendum comes up shy on votes
An anti-corruption referendum in Colombia drew millions to the polls Sunday but fell just short of a required participation threshold to push forward measures aimed at improving transparency and stiffening penalties for white-collar criminals
10:23PM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
The Latest: Senate chaplain thanks God for McCain
The Senate chaplain is thanking God "for the gift" of the late John McCain
5:10PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: McConnell pays tribute to McCain on Senate floor
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell paid tribute to John McCain by recalling their own legislative battles while echoing the late senator's belief that there's more that unites than divides Americans
4:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Cohen's lawyer walks back claim Trump knew of Russia meeting
Lawyer walks back assertions that Cohen could tell special prosecutor Trump had prior knowledge of meeting with a Russian lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton
1:47PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Asian stock markets mostly higher after Wall Street gain
Asian stocks edge higher after Wall Street gains
11:26PM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: 2017 runner-up Keys into US Open's 2nd round
The Latest: 2017 runner-up Keys into US Open's 2nd round
11:21PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Red Sox score on throwing error in 9th, beat Marlins 8-7
J.D. Martinez scored when Marlins shortstop JT Riddle threw away a potential double-play ball in the ninth inning, lifting the Boston Red Sox over Miami 8-7 following a wild, back-and-forth final two innings
11:19PM ( 31 minutes ago )
The Latest: Sorority hosts packed tribute to Aretha Franklin
The Latest: Delta Sigma Theta sorority hosts packed tribute of song, speeches and scripture to Aretha Franklin after first day of diva's public viewing in Detroit
10:55PM ( 56 minutes ago )
The Latest: Bouchard gets 1st US Open victory since 2015
The Latest: Bouchard gets 1st US Open victory since 2015
10:33PM ( 1 hour ago )