The weeks-long electoral nightmare in the south is over. After last-minute ballot dumps, missed deadlines, and multiple recounts in both Florida and Georgia, we finally have winners. And it’s good news for Republicans.
Nelson finally conceded the race on Sunday afternoon after two separate recounts. And in Georgia, Abrams admitted she had no path to victory—but she didn’t “concede” and vowed to fight a rigged system, just not as governor.
—QUOTABLE: “We know, sometimes, the law does not do what it should and that something being legal does not make it right…This is someone who has compromised our systems. He’s compromised our democratic systems. And that is not appropriate.” -Abrams “concession” speech
MEANWHILE—Stacey Abrams refused to call Brian Kemp the “legitimate” governor of Georgia during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. Tapper asked her multiple times if he’s legitimately elected. She answered by simply saying her Republican opponent has “an adequate number of votes” according to the law, but refused to use the word “legitimate.”
It looks like the winners will remain the winners in Florida’s gubernatorial and senate elections. While Democrat Andrew Gillum again conceded the race for the state’s governor to Republican Ron DeSantis after recount results changed little from election day, Rick Scott also remains ahead by 10,000 votes. Florida counties had until noon Sunday to file official results after a week-long machine and manual recount. Republican Scott’s apparent victory ends the long career of political survivor, Democrat Bill Nelson. At 76, Nelson has survived the state’s tilt to the right but now succumbs to Scott, the state’s outgoing governor.
Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum officially withdrew his concession on Saturday. The Democrat had admitted he lost by about one percentage point earlier in the week after Tuesday’s election, but elections officials in two Democrat strongholds then found a stash of uncounted ballots, pushing the margin to below half a percent. That triggered Florida secretary of state Ken Detzner to order an automatic machine recount.
—QUOTABLE: “I am replacing my earlier concession with an unapologetic and uncompromised call to count every vote.” -Gillum
Andrew Gillum as of late Thursday was considering retracting his concession. The Democrat on Tuesday conceded his one-point loss in his race for Florida governor to Republican Ron DeSantis. But the margin has dwindled in the hours since as absentee and provisional ballots continued to be counted…slowly.
—QUOTABLE: “On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported.” -Gillum campaign spokeswoman Johanna Cervone
MEANWHILE—Florida’s race for U.S. Senate is even closer. Republican Rick Scott has declared victory over Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson, but thanks to a slow and unusual trickle of last-minute ballots being counted and announced out of two of the state’s Dem strongholds, the gap is closing in on automatic recount territory. Sen. Marco Rubio called attention to the very suspicious activity in Broward and Palm Beach Counties on Thursday.
—QUOTABLE: “#Broward election supervisors ongoing violation of #Florida law requiring timely reporting isn’t just annoying incompetence. It has opened the door for lawyers to come here & try to steal a seat in the U.S. Senate & Florida Cabinet.” Rubio tweet
Diddy is rallying for Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. Sean “Diddy” Combs held a rally on Monday for the Democrat candidate and current Tallahassee mayor and was joined by Tiffany Haddish, DJ Khaled, Will Packer, and someone called Monica at the Florida A&M University event. Diddy said Gillum would be the first black governor of the Sunshine State, but he wasn’t endorsing him because of that—he also says Gillum is the “best man for the job.” Gillum, who has run into ethics troubles after FBI probes into corruption in Tallahassee city government, is in a tight race with Republican Ron DeSantis, but has been leading most of the polls.
—QUOTABLE: “He’s running a campaign for the people…I’ve spoken to him at length. I believe in him — his focus, his ideas, what he stands for.” -Diddy
President Trump on Monday called Florida Dem candidate for governor Andrew Gillum “a thief.” That’s an apparent nod to the corruption allegedly rampant in Tallahassee city government, where Gillum is the mayor. The FBI has been investigating the corruption and recently caught Gillum in a lie, denying knowledge of bribery. Gillum has not been charged with any crimes, yet.
Florida candidate for governor Andrew Gillum demands a certain level of respect. Speaking to supporters at a Florida university, the Democrat candidate for the state’s top office recounted the first time he met Republican challenger Ron DeSantis. “[A]ll of a sudden, without invitation, he was calling me only as Andrew.” Gillum believes that because he’s currently mayor of Tallahassee and DeSantis earlier resigned his post as U.S. Representative, that DeSantis was out of line by calling him by his first name. The comment comes on the heels of his campaign accusing DeSantis of being a racist on multiple occasions. Gillum holds a 4.5 percentage point lead over DeSantis.
—“I met [DeSantis] for the first time the other night, and then all of a sudden, without invitation, he was calling me only as Andrew. Between the two of us, he quit his job in Congress — I’m a sitting mayor, and he had the nerve to address me only as Andrew?” -Gillum
Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is responding to allegations of corruption by blaming racism. The Democrat and Tallahassee mayor said an FBI investigation that found he lied about accepting tickets to the Broadway production “Hamilton” from agents posing as land developers. He claimed he didn’t know who bought the tickets. But the whole thing is just a distraction motivated by racism, Gillum said.
—QUOTABLE: “The Republicans obviously want to distract, want to suggest. All along throughout this … they’ve wanted the people of this state to believe somehow I haven’t deserved what I’ve gotten, I’m unethical, participated in illegal and illicit activity. I mean, you name it” -Gillum
—QUOTABLE: “The goal is obviously to use my candidacy as a way to reinforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men.” -Gillum
The Democrat candidate for Florida governor has been caught in corruption and lying. Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, lied on numerous occasions when he claimed he did not know who bought tickets to a Broadway show that were given to him by an FBI agent posing as a land developer. That’s bribery. And according to hundreds of pages of communications including text messages, Gillum did in fact know who bought the tickets and lied about it to authorities. The FBI conducted the sting as part of a probe into corruption in Tallahassee city government. This won’t help Gillum’s chances of defeating Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis for the governor’s mansion—the RealClearPoltitics average has him down 6.7 percent.