Andrew Gillum narrowly wins Democratic nomination for Florida governor
Gillum defeats Graham by about 27,000 votes
The 2018 primary election results are in and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has narrowly secured the Democratic nomination for Florida governor.
Gillum, who was running against multi-billionaire Jeff Greene, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and a list of other Democratic candidates, received 33 percent of the votes.
The race was tight with Gillum earning only about 27,000 more votes than Graham.
At his election watch party at the Duval Hotel in Tallahassee Gillum spoke to a roaring crowd of supporters.
"It has never been lost on me that my name on the ballot is simply a vessel," Gillum said. "It's simply the name, but what is underneath that name are all the issues that we care so deeply about."
If elected in November, Gillum would be the first black governor of Florida, began his run as mayor of Tallahassee in 2014, and prides himself on his record of developing a thriving innovative economy, beating the gun lobby to protect reform and defending immigrants, according to his website.
Gillum, who lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three children, said he is running for governor because he believes Florida is in need of new and creative ways to rebuild the state's economy, revitalize public education, protect and expand healthcare access and address the crisis of climate change.
"Right here in the state of Florida tonight, we have shown the rest of the country that we can be the David in the situation where there is a Goliath," Gillum said.
Read more about Gillum's history and where he stand on important issues here.
Graham, the daughter of former governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, beat Republican incumbent Steve Southerland in 2014 for Florida's 2nd Congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and served in Congress until 2016, when redistricting took place.
Throughout her campaign trail and debates with other candidates, Graham has focused on cleaning up Florida's environment, specifically its dirty waterways, improving schools, abortion rights and banning the sale of military-style assault weapons.
Graham, who held her election watch party event at The Social in Orlando, quickly threw her support behind Gillum for future governor. She said she and Gillum have been friends for years and she called him shortly after the election numbers were in.
“Now Andrew, go on and win this damn thing,” Graham said she told the Democratic candidate for Florida governor. “This election is too important for the state of Florida. It was never about the candidate.”
Graham encouraged her supporters to "do everything we can to make sure he is elected Florida governor."
A Democrat has not secured a win in five straight gubernatorial elections.
Read more about Gillum's history and where he stands on important issues here.
Orlando-area businessman Chris King also showed up on the ballot as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate and focused his campaign on progressive values. Read more about King here.
The candidate who received the highest number of votes secures the nomination in Florida partisan primary elections.
Gillum will take on Republican Ron DeSantis in the November general election.
Click here to see election results statewide.
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