Tallahassee mayor could become Florida’s first black governor

Tallahassee mayor could become Florida’s first black governor

Published
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday (http://www.talgov.com/cityleadership/gillum.aspx)

WASHINGTON – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is well-positioned to become Florida’s first African-American governor after having won the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday.

“Tonight, through the grace of Floridians all across this state, I am deeply honored and humbled to be your Democratic nominee for Governor,” Gillum said in a statement Tuesday evening.

Gillum added: “We have not yet reached the mountaintop, but we are on the move. It’s time to bring it home for everyone who has been told they don’t belong, for everyone who has been denied a chance, and for everyone who dreams of a brighter future.”

Gillum, a 39-year-old progressive backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), narrowly defeated former congresswoman and centrist Gwen Graham. Graham served in Congress from 2015-17. She is the daughter of former U.S. Senator and former Florida governor Bob Graham (D).

Gillum has served at the helm of Florida’s capital city since 2014. He will face Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) in the general election.

DeSantis, 39, has served in Congress since 2013. He is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and is a close political ally of President Donald Trump.

Florida has not elected a Democrat governor since 1994.

The outcome of Florida’s Senate primaries pits Sen. Ben Nelson (D) against Gov. Rick Scott (R).

Nelson, 75, has served in the Senate since 2001.  He is a moderate Democrat and is respected on both sides of the aisle.

Scott, 65, has served as governor since 2011. He is a staunch conservative. Prior to seeking elected office, Scott was a venture capitalist.

A recent poll showed Scott with a comfortable lead over Nelson.

In Arizona’s Senate GOP primary Rep. Martha McSally easily fended off rightward challenges from State Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio.

McSally, 52, has served in Congress since 2015. She is a retired Air Force colonel. In 1993 McSally became the first female combat pilot to fly in hostile territory when she underwent a mission to enforce the no-fly zone in Iraq.

McSally will face Rep. Krysten Sinema (D) in the general election.

Sinema, 42, has served in Congress since 2013. If elected she will become the first openly bisexual member of the Senate.

Recent polls showed a tight race in a hypothetical matchup.

The candidates are vying for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R).

The Senate is near-evenly divided. Republicans occupy 50 seats. Democrats occupy 49 seats.

However, this year’s political landscape favors Republicans.

Republicans are defending nine seats. Democrats are defending 25 seats.

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