Rihanna Flexes Support For Diddy & Andrew Gillum Ahead Of Election Day

Rihanna Flexes Support For Diddy & Andrew Gillum Ahead Of Election Day

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has conceded defeat to Republican Ron DeSantis in the race for governor of Florida, falling short in his quest to become the first African-American governor of the Sunshine State. Meanwhile, Republican Rick Scott, Florida's current governor, held a slim lead over incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson for a seat in the U.S. Senate, leading by 34,000 votes on Wednesday morning.

The race was among the most watched in the U.S. midterms, with Trump throwing his weight behind DeSantis and Gillum endorsed by former Democratic president Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Neither Georgia nor Florida has elected a Democratic governor in 20 years.

DeSantis' win represents an extension of a decade of trifecta Republican control of the swing state and a resounding win for Trump, who aggressively inserted himself into the race.

Gillum had pulled off an upset in the Democratic primary, winning the nomination after consistently polling in third for most of that race, but he was unable to carry that same momentum into the general election.

DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the August 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn't "monkey this up" by electing Gillum, who was Florida's first black nominee for governor.

Gillum conceded the race at about 11 p.m., three hours after polls closed in the state's Panhandle and after nearly all the votes had been counted in heavily Democratic South Florida.

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In Oklahoma, Republican Kevin Stitt defeated Democrat Drew Edmondson, dashing Democratic hopes that outgoing Republican Governor Mary Fallin's low approval numbers had provided a rare opportunity in a deeply conservative state. We could not be more thankful for the support that was shown by each and every one of you.

As governor, DeSantis will essentially be Trump lite.

Trump has dubbed the Republican results in the House and Senate a "success".

The former GOP congressman spent weeks explaining the remark, maintaining it had nothing to do with race, but rather his belief that Gillum would hurt Florida's economy.

Trump was heavily invested in the race, making two visits to the state in the final week of the campaign. He also said he intends to stay involved in Florida politics.

Thirty-nine percent of Floridians registered to vote did so early, either in person or by mail, according to state election figures. With 99% reporting, Nelson earned 4,039,498 votes - over 42,000 more votes than Gillum. In the largest counties, that could affect the differences by as many as 2,000 total votes.