Democrat Andrew Gillum officially conceded to former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGOP tentatively decides on Jacksonville for site of convention DeSantis pushing to host Republican National Convention in Florida Florida bars and theaters to reopen starting Friday, DeSantis says MORE (R) in Florida’s gubernatorial race as a recount of votes showed a margin Gillum was unlikely to close.
“Now that we are rounding that process out, R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the next state of Florida,” Gillum said alongside his wife.
“We also want you to know that even though this election may be beyond us, that although nobody wanted to be governor more than me, this wasn’t just about an election cycle. This was about creating the kind of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government and in our state and in our communities. We know that this fight continues,” he added.
Gillum had initially conceded to DeSantis last week, but revoked that statement after further vote counts showed DeSantis’s lead narrowing. The Tallahassee mayor thanked all of his supporters for their work and vowed to continue to advocate for causes he championed.
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“We want you to know that we see you and we hear you and that your voices will continue to power us as we still stand on the frontlines right alongside you to make this a state that works for all of us. The issues that we cared about, the issues that we championed, the issues that we feel even still today so passionately about still matter to us,” he said.
Gillum ran an unabashedly progressive campaign, promoting policies such as “Medicare for all.”
Both Florida’s Senate and gubernatorial races were plagued by allegations of voter fraud and voter suppression after several counties, particularly heavily populated Democratic-leaning counties in the southeast part of the state, were slow to count their ballots and forced the races to a manual recount.
Citing the widely criticized process, Gillum called for the state’s election procedures to be updated.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that over the coming weeks, over the coming months that we do what we can to perfect our electoral system. We need to update Florida’s election system and bring it into the 21st century,” he said.
Gillum ended the video by hinting that his failed gubernatorial campaign isn’t the last stop on his political journey.
“All I have to say is stay tuned, there will be more to come. This fight for Florida continues, and I just want to thank you all for being along with us for at least this part of the journey, but the journey continues,” he concluded.
The comments come after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE praised Gillum, also hinting that his political career was far from over.
“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!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
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
Gillum positioned himself during the campaign as a staunch opponent of Trump, setting up the race as a battle of the bases against DeSantis, who cast himself as a reliable ally of the president.