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With his Tuesday primary win, Gillum became the first African-American nominee for governor of the country's third-most-populous state, emerging as a new focal point for the national party's liberal wing. The Gillum campaign pointed to this statement when asked for a response.

A spokeswoman for Fox News reached out to CNN early Wednesday afternoon to distance the network from DeSantis' remark, pointing to a statement made by anchor Sandra Smith on air in which she said, "We do not condone this language and wanted to make our viewers aware that he has since clarified his statement".

Trump, however, was silent as DeSantis launched his campaign the next month.

Rep. Ron DeSantis rode a robust endorsement from President Donald Trump to victory Tuesday in Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary. "Because I remember in high school, that was the number one reason why some of the people I went to school with ended up falling out, and didn't do good in school, didn't do good in sports".

The Florida contest came on the last big day of state nominating contests before the November 6 elections, when Democrats will try to pick up 23 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and two seats in the Senate to gain majorities and slam the brakes on Trump's legislative agenda.

What our state and country needs is decency, hope, and leadership.

He was the only leading Democrat in his primary to endorse "Medicare-for-all" single-payer health care, a top progressive agenda item and the policy most famously championed by Vermont's independent Sen.

Trump has gone on to endorse the Florida Republican on numerous occasions.

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Gillum was on a shortlist for Hillary Clinton's vice presidential pick, according to one of John Podesta's stolen emails, but when he chose to run for governor Sen.

Gillum, a favorite of progressives, spent the least of the five major Democratic candidates and had the smallest television presence. "I actually believe that Florida and its rich diversity are going to be looking for a governor that's going to bring us together, not divide us, not misogynists, not racists, not bigots".

DeSantis spokesman Dave Vasquez said that was not what the Republican nominee meant to imply.

The underdog piled up big margins in most of Florida's urban areas, and will now face Congressman Ron DeSantis, the Trump-endorsed GOP nominee, in what will be a general election of stark ideological contrasts.

Stephen Lawson, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, later said that DeSantis was "obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses". Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., among other liberal figures nationally.

In the Democratic primary for Florida governor, progressive favourite Andrew Gillum narrowly led moderate former US Representative Gwen Graham by almost two percentage points with 85 per cent of the vote counted.

While he didn't make race an issue, Gillum said during a recent interview that it would be "big" to be Florida's first black governor. "I just happen to be black". John McCain. Though McCain was a towering figure who was elected to the Senate by Arizonans six times, the three Republican candidates running to replace his retiring seat-mate, Sen.