Ron DeSantis, Andrew Gillum projected to win primaries in Florida

Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, left, pulled off a surprise against a half-dozen competitors in the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary, Rep. Ron DeSantis, right, declares victory in the Tuesday primary night, state agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Florida Republican Governor elections.

President Trump’s favored candidate, Rep. Ron DeSantis, declared victory on Tuesday night, state agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in Florida’s Republican gubernatorial primary after riding the wave of President his approval at the ballot box.

Also on Tuesday, the Bernie Sanders-backed Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum pulled off a surprise against a half-dozen competitors, including former Rep. Graham Gwen, in the Democratic primary for Governor, according to projections from the Fox News decision Desk.

During a ceremony in Orlando, DeSantis thanked the President for “consider me as someone who could be a great leader for Florida.”

“Our victory is said to be a good win,” DeSantis. “But to beat a man, you, someone of his caliber is a great, great thing.”

The President repeatedly urged the voters to support the conservative legislators. Trump offered his congratulations on Twitter.

“A fantastic victory for Ron DeSantis, and the people in the Great U.S. state of Florida,” Trump tweeted. “Ron is a fantastic Governor. On November!”

Like a fantastic victory for Ron DeSantis, and the people in the Great U.S. state of Florida. Ron is a fantastic Governor. On November!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018

Gillum, Tallahassee progressive mayor with the support of Sanders, hopes to be the first black Governor of Florida. He defeated Graham, the daughter of former Florida Governor and Sen. Bob Graham, who led in pre-election surveys.

In the state Senate contest, and Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott observed on Tuesday easily won the GOP nomination. He stood in front of a challenge perennial candidate Roque De La Fuente.

“Congratulations to Governor Rick Scott of Florida on its coherent Republican Primary, Trump tweeted Scott encouraged to run, Win,”. “He will be a great Senator!”

Congratulations to Governor Rick Scott of Florida on its coherent Republican Primary Win. He is a great Senator!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018

Scott, the term is limited, as the Governor, will incumbent Democratic sen. Bill Nelson, which is one of the most closely watched Senate races in November. Nelson was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

But much of the attention in the run-up to the had to vote on Tuesday, has been on the controversial Republican gubernatorial primary between DeSantis and Putnam.

During a Fox News-sponsored debate in June, DeSantis played the trump card, the back cover of his campaign, with the expression of doubt that Putnam appropriate trump. “I am proud of the approval of the President trump card in this race,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis, 39, is an Iraq war veteran and a decorated military lawyer who served in the U.S. house since 2013. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Putnam, 44, also played up his support for Trump, but stressed, “I’m focused on Florida.”

For the Senate race, the Republicans hope that Scott could tilt the seat in a battle with Nelson, one of the Democratic party, the most vulnerable incumbent.

Trump just the Democrat Hillary Clinton won in Florida in the 2016 presidential race by less than 2 percentage points.

Elections were held also on Tuesday in Arizona, where three Republicans to replace the on-off for outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, and in Oklahoma, where the primary runoff elections were held.

Fox News ” Phil Keating, Kaitlyn Schallhorn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a political reporter at Follow him on Twitter at @Alex Pappas.

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