USA midterms: Disappointed Democrats pin hopes on Florida's ex-cons

All Eyes on Florida's Gubernatorial Race: Will Florida Go Blue?

"I'm excited for the opportunities for Florida".

Republican Ron DeSantis will defeat Democrat Andrew Gillum in the battle to be Florida's next governor, Fox News projects.

"We could not be prouder of the way that we ran this race". "We recognize that we didn't win this tonight". "It was a little dicey at times but I'm really happy about where we are", said state Rep. Byron Donalds.

"I would like to thank the president for standing by me when it wasn't necessarily the smart thing to do", he said.

The losses tempered big Democratic victories in governor races in two states, MI and Kansas, that voted for Republican President Donald Trump in 2016, bolstering the party's hopes of recapturing those states in the 2020 presidential election.

"The true story of this race is intense gratitude to President Trump". And nobody brings it like the big guy. Despite the edge from Democrats in 2016, President Donald Trump won Florida due to a surge of GOP voters on Election Day.

DeSantis, 40, a conservative former congressman, defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum, 39, the staunchly liberal mayor of state capital Tallahassee who was seeking to become Florida's first black governor and who conceded the race.

"Let's keep hope alive".

A small crowd of supporters chanted, "We want Ron!" With 99% reporting, Nelson earned 4,039,498 votes - over 42,000 more votes than Gillum.

"How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement that somebody makes?".

DeSantis himself has been widely criticized for urging Florida voters not to "monkey this up" by electing Gillum, a comment denounced as racist. The race was the third office he's sought in two years: his re-election, Senate and governor.

Gillum had also faced scrutiny over accepting Hamilton tickets from an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who was conducting an ethics probe.

Gillum replied: "My grandmother used to say a hit dog will holler".

Trump has dubbed the Republican results in the House and Senate a "success". He beat Putnam by 20 percentage points.

The race was among the most watched in the United States midterms, with Trump throwing his weight behind DeSantis and Gillum endorsed by former Democratic president Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Gillum received more than 10,200 votes than Nelson, while DeSantis received more than 10,000 votes than Scott.

DeSantis' comments drew widespread criticism and became a theme in the general-election contest.

But in Wisconsin, Democrat Tony Evers pulled off a narrow win in unseating Republican incumbent Scott Walker, according to data provider DDHQ.

Morgan also pointed to another factor -- race -- as the reason for Gillum's downfall.

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