Supported by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and a coalition of progressive groups, Gillum angered former Rep. Gwen Graham, who led the bulk of the campaign in the polls. He led a field of five contestants in which he was the only non-millionaire – and the sole proponent of "Medicare for all" healthcare. Gillum is the first black candidate to win a major party governorship election in Florida.
His victory sets Florida, the largest swing state in the presidential election, as a major test of the political atmosphere this fall. Gillum meets Republican Republican Ron DeSantis in a race in which two 39-year-olds, who reflect in many ways the national moods of their parties, compete against each other.
DeSantis defeated Adam Putnam, the state agriculture commissioner, on CNN projects. His victory was expected ̵
The victory of Gillum, however, was a madness in a wide open competition. Democrats in the race, including billionaire Jeff Greene and wealthy Miami Beach's former mayor, Philip Levine, spent more than $ 100 million for the chance to regain control of Governor Villa, which has been in the hands of Republicans for two decades , Gillum got a late boost when liberal megadons Tom Steyer and George Soros led a group that donated $ 650,000 to its Political Action Committee
The governors' race is one of two statewide Florida contests in November in the midterm elections.
CNN also projects that Florida Governor Rick Scott will first win the Republican Senate to meet incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson for a seat Democrats must hold if they hope to have a shot at the majority of the Senate ,
Polls have closed in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma.
In Arizona, the day before the state begins to commemorate Senator John McCain, Republicans will make an important statement about the future of McCain and Trump's party.
The preference of the national GOP establishment, Rep. Martha McSally, faced two hard-line conservatives – former Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio – in the first session of the Senate.
McSally distanced himself from McCain during the campaign, while Ward and Arpaio openly attacked him. All three candidates welcome Trump as a sign of the president's power over the Republican voters.
Trump attacked McCain's infamy during the presidential campaign in 2016 and McCain faced Trump on several counts.
The race is the headliner on a day Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma select their governor race nominations, and Arizona and Florida will also select their Senate competition nominees.
In Arizona, Republican governor Doug Ducey stands for re-election. Democratic Senator Steve Farley, Arizona State University Education Professor David Garcia and Kelly Fryer, CEO of YWCA Southern Arizona, confront Ducey in a traditionally red state that has shifted to the left in recent years: Hillary Clinton lost only 4 percentage points.
The Primary comes days before Ducey has an important decision to make: who will take McCain's place? He has to choose between a Trump-like Republican and someone in the McCain form – or he might try to fill the gap, possibly with a wildcard selection.
And in Oklahoma, Democratic Prosecutor Drew Edmondson will be evicted with the winner of a GOP fight between Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett for the temporary Gov Mary Fallin seat.
Also in Arizona and Florida, there are several primary elections for seats in the House of Representatives, which are expected to be competitive in November in the intermediate elections.
Trump dominates Arizona race
The Arizona Senate competition is retired for the seat of Senate Jeff Flake – not McCain, whose replacement will be appointed by Ducey. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is the big favorite to win the Republican main winner.
Trump did not support a candidate. But the race has underscored how the Republican party in Arizona has moved from one where McCain, the 2008 G8 presidential candidate, ruled to one where Trump is the dominant force.
All three GOP candidates have joined the president. In particular, McSally dropped its criticism of Trump from 2016 and got close to the president – especially on immigration issues.
The result of the race has already been decided. More than 437,000 Republican votes were cast on Friday. And when the primary school in 2018 follows the trend of Arizona's high electoral votes, already 75% of the primary voters have voted. Opinion polls have shown that Arpaio is in third place – but Republican strategists say he fights for the same group by stubborn conservative voters like Ward, meaning his presence in the race has cut right into their support.
Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, urged Trump to assist McSally in a phone call, a source familiar with the call said.
Trump disagreed, but he gave McSally a recent event at Fort Drum in New York. He noted that McSally is "not just an Air Force veteran, but the first woman to ever fly a fighter jet in US history."
"And I got to know her very well, and she's great: Congresswoman Martha McSally," Trump said.
National Republicans see the Arizona Senate race as crucial to maintaining their majority and think that McSally is the only candidate giving them the chance to win the race. Until the last few weeks they had been frustrated that she had not taken away the primary material.
How McSally won the rights
McSally's main campaign was a case study in which an Establishment Republican – One who had sharply criticized Trump in the 2016 Access Hollywood video, failed Win Trump era.
She aired an ad in which Trump described her as a "real deal." She withdrew her co-sponsorship of a law that provided "Dreamers" a path to citizenship, mimicking Trump's "chain migration" attacks. She became a fixture in Fox News, where she banded with Trump and praised the President.
And she threw Ward – who her campaign as a shrill critic of Flake and McCain, a Trump opponent, with the support of the then chief strategist Steve Bannon from the White House – as Trump critics.
"McSally has done a masterful job exploiting Wards' phonemes," said Robert Graham, former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party and Trump ally. "Religious rights have freaked and left her, and the immigration people consider her gentle."
An anti-Ward Super PAC spent more than $ 4 million on occasionally misleading ads that Ward found weak for immigration enforcement and opposed Trump's demands for increased military spending.
McSally's campaign has meanwhile broadcast an ad Ward "does not support President Trump" on immigration. It highlighted Ward's opposition to a Trump-based bill that Ward called "Amnesty."
Another important moment came at the end of July in an editorial meeting in the Arizona Republic – the only time that McSally and Ward would discuss with Arpaio the invitation – on abortion. Both said they wanted Roe v. Wade was overturned, but Ward called for an "incremental" approach, including an abortion ban at 24 weeks, while McSally said she was in favor of banning abortion in all cases except rape, incest and when the life of The Mother is in danger.
Ward also said the abortion was "debated in a manner aimed at raising money for people on both sides of the subject."
The comments alienated anti-abortion activists, who were an important part of the conservative constituency a McSally challenger would have needed.
Then, late in the campaign, Ward wooed controversy when she invited Mike Cernovich – a far-right commentator who promoted the infamous "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory – on her bus tour and then told NBC News that "to attach these things to me is ridiculous. "
Ward explained her decision to invite Cernovich and said, "We need a hook to get people to see the bus tour."
Ward also commented on controversy at the end of the race. She apologized on Monday for a Facebook commentary stating that an announcement by McCain's family that he was about to end his cancer treatment was designed to harm her campaign and said her comment had been misinterpreted.
Meanwhile, Arpaio watched as his campaign slipped into chaos. The Federal Election Commission has made a lot of trouble with its first quarter campaign report in a letter to Arpaio's campaign. And Chad Willem's longtime advisor, who until recently was Arpaio's campaign manager, received the vast majority of the $ 1.3 million raised for the campaign. His campaign ended in a barrage when Ward made headlines as the anti-establishment candidate.
"McSally has proven to voters for months that they are able to focus on the weaknesses of Sinema in a way that highlights their own strengths, even when facing competitors in a primary school," said Brian Anderson, Strategist Arizona GOP Former Advisor to Ducey
"Kelli Ward continued to remind everyone," Anderson said, "that it's a ticking time bomb that can not be talked into by a question about Pizzagate – let alone face an adversary like Sinema. "