TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Democrat Andrew Gillum says he is ending his hard-fought race for Florida governor and has congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis.
"Now that we are rounding that process out, R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the governor of the great state of Florida," Gillum said. "I'll tell you this has been the journey of our lives. We've been so honored by the support that we received from people really all the way across the country. R. Jai and I know that we could not have done this by ourselves. We wouldn't be here today were it were not for all who poured into us, who supported us, who encouraged us all along the way."
Gillum posted a live video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon in which he congratulated DeSantis. Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes.
Gillum, who is Tallahassee's mayor, isn't saying what he plans to do next.
"Stay tuned," he said in his brief remarks. Nonetheless, Gillum says he will remain politically active, adding "the fight for Florida continues."
I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida. My wife R. Jai and I could not be prouder of the way we ran this race. We could not be more thankful to my running mate, @ChrisKingFL and his wife Kristen. — Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 17, 2018
Most importantly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being part of this campaign. I wouldn’t be here without the support that was shown by millions of Floridians. I encourage y’all to keep fighting for what we believe in. — Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 17, 2018
We are going to keep fighting. We will keep working. And in the end, I believe that we will win. I am so thankful to each and every one of you. pic.twitter.com/fWCKQysGmZ — Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 17, 2018
Gillum's announcement came hours after President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Gillum will be a "strong Democrat warrior" and a "force to reckon with."
Congratulations to Andrew Gillum on having run a really tough and competitive race for Governor of the Great State of Florida. He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future - a force to reckon with! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2018
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