Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis slug it out in Florida governor's debate

Hugh Fox
October 29, 2018

First of all, he's got neo-Nazis helping him out in the state. I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist.

Before McDermott could finish his question, DeSantis interrupted and said Horowitz's controversial statements had been uttered before he attended the conference. DeSantis fired back. "I am not going to bow down to the altar of political correctness". He has been reportedly supported by a white supremacist group from Idaho through racist robocalls (which the DeSantis campaign, for its part, called "appalling and disgusting"). By the time Gillum and DeSantis squared off in Broward County, nearly 1.4 million Floridians already had cast their ballots.

He bashed Gillum, who serves as Mayor of Tallahassee, for being soft on crime and wanting to abolish ICE, which he said would leave child molesters on the streets.

The corruption scandal surrounding Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum continued to grow on Friday as newly-released documents show that an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, who posed as a developer seeking to do business with Gillum's Tallahassee government, allegedly paid thousands of dollars to support a fundraiser for Gillum's political action committee, Forward Florida. Though the texts seem to dispute this claim, Gillum continued to maintain it after the records were released, saying his brother handed the tickets to him the night of the show.

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Kise, who has been has been compiling the records in response to a Florida Commission on Ethics probe looking into whether Gillum accepted gifts worth more than $100 without disclosing them during the NY trip and a trip to Costa Rica.

Meanwhile DeSantis followed the tried-and-tested Trump attack lines - hitting out at Gillum for being soft on crime and wanting to abolish ICE.

The Tallahassee mayor took responsibility for "not having asked more questions" about the exchange, but then tried to downplay the issue in the context of the race: "I'm running for governor and the state of Florida, we got a lot of issues", he said. Make Republicans explain why they're the favored party of bigots.

"In the final days, you throw out stuff that you had, that you weren't sure how it would work, that may be inflammatory", he said.

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"The mayor was invited by Peter Leach to a meeting at his office to learn about some of the work he was doing to advance wrap-around social services in schools and housing developments", Gillum's chief of staff, Jamie Van Pelt, told the Tallahassee Democrat a year ago. "He said I'm a grown man, I pay for my stuff", DeSantis said.

Democrats were largely inclined to side with Gillum, who by other measures was having a fine day Tuesday.

The newly released documents show that lobbyist Adam Corey - a former friend and ally of Gillum's - sent an invoice for $4,386 to the agent, posing as a developer named Mike Miller. "But now we know that". We did go to see "Hamilton.' I did get my ticket to 'Hamilton" from my brother.

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