Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded in the Florida governor’s race Saturday and offered congratulations to his Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis.
“I want to congratulate @RonDeSantisFL on becoming the next Governor of the great state of Florida,” Gillum tweeted. “My wife R. Jai and I could not be prouder of the way we ran this race. We could not be more thankful to my running mate, @ChrisKingFL and his wife Kristen.”
Most importantly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being part of this campaign. I wouldn’t be here without the support that was shown by millions of Floridians. I encourage y’all to keep fighting for what we believe in.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 17, 2018
Gillum, who is the mayor of Tallahassee, also streamed a video message to the people of Florida, thanking them for sticking by him, and reiterated that all he wanted was for “every single vote” to be counted.
“We wanted to make sure that every single vote … as long as it was a legally cast vote, we wanted those votes to be counted,” Gillum said on Facebook. “And now that we are rounding that process out R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the governor of the great state of Florida.”
Watch his full video message below.
DeSantis caused a stir in August, drawing accusations of using a racist dog whistle after saying during a Fox News interview that voters should not “monkey this up” by electing Gillum, who would have been the state’s first black governor.
As Election Day approached, Gillum got numerous celebrity endorsements, including from DJ Khaled, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tiffany Haddish, Will Packer, Gabrielle Union, and Common. Former President Obama also endorsed him.
Gillum originally conceded on Election Day but then withdraw his concession when the total votes fell within a recount threshold.
DeSantis led the race for governor by less than 34,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast — roughly .41 percent — following a machine recount. A difference of .25 percent would have forced a hand recount.