florida governor race Ron Andrew Gillum DeSantis MSNBC Gillum governor of Florida fl Andrew Gillum governor race

Andrew Gillum
Gracious in defeat, Gillum was also defiant before the crowd of supporters at his alma mater Florida A & M. Photograph: Colin Hackley / Reuters•
Andrew Gillum
Win or lose, the race was set to end

On the same Florida College campus, where Andrew Gillum's political career began as 17 years ago, the popular Tallahassee mayor and the improbable candidate for governor was defeated by Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night.

"Gillum said a dejected crowd of supporters," I still believe in and trust the voters. "

Andrew Gillum

Few expected Gillum to win the Democratic candidate in August. As the nominee, he faced a tough climb in a state that the Donald Trump carried comfortably in 2016, but he constantly voted ahead of DeSantis for much of the lead-up to the election.

Andrew Gillum

That math failed to play out, however, and Gillum fell in an early start As the night carried on it became increasingly unlikely that in the return of Broward County, often a source of election-night drama in Florida, could make up the difference.

Gracious in defeat, Gillum was also defiant at his alma mater, the historically black Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Andrew Gillum

"Let's make sure that people are going to have a seat at this thing and that we will not be ignored, will not be pushed and we will not be pushed into the shadows any more. That we're here, and we're here to stay, "Gillum said his failed bid to become the third black American governor since Reconstruction, and the first in the south.

It was an emotional night for those assembled. Many hugged, cried and gently booed when Gillum told them he had called DeSantis to offer his congratulations.

Andrew Gillum

"I just wonder if we're really a country of inclusion," said Cecka Rose Green, as she wiped away tears. "If we are really a country that says that no matter from where you come, what your situation is, if you are working hard that you can achieve the American dream."

She continued: "It was a hard-fought campaign. We have a lot of negative ads There was a lot of racial attacks And growing up is really It's kind of disheartening. "

Andrew Gillum

The mood at the campaign headquarters is slowly plunged when the early results, which looked good for Gillum, gave way to a stubborn deficit of about one percent point that the number of precincts left to report crawled towards zero

The college students crowded to be positive, cheering for Democratic victories on the jumbo TV screens and dancing to the DJ

Andrew Gillum

Eventually the will-be celebration, waterlogged by soaking evening thunderstorms, started to flag. "We can still pull this off, let's get some energy going," begged the last speaker from the podium, before Gillum took the stage about an hour later.

Somewhat muddled in the historic nature of Gillum's run, its Cinderella-story unlikelihood, and the nastiness of his opponent's attacks, is that he ran and almost a US governorship, which has a strong progressive platform, all for Medicare, strong environmental protection, and bold criminal justice reforms

Andrew Gillum

One of the few bright spots in Gillum's speech was appreciation for Florida voters who approved amendment 4, a ballot measure which restores the voting ex-felons who had previously been barred under state law.

Gillum also used his idea to reflect on his campaign slogan, "Bring it Home" which, far from the usual retail politics electioneering, was a deep part of his family history, borrowed from his maternal grandmother.

Last week he told Rolling Stone it was always said as "a directive to achieve whatever he set his mind, then bring that success home to his family and community".

Choking back tears, and with his wife R jai grabbing his shoulder in support as the crowd rose in cheers, Gillum apologized that he was not able to bring it home, but composed himself and said: "I'm not going anywhere . We're going to fight And we're gonna keep fighting We're going to keep working We're going to keep believing, and ultimately I believe we will win. "

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