On Tuesday, a few states had surprising outcomes in the primary elections. The biggest upset victory was in Florida.
In Florida, the Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat backed by former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, won the Democratic nomination for governor.
He even caught the attention of President Donald Trump.
Trump called Gillum a “failed Socialist Mayor” and expressed his support for his rival the Republican nominee Rep. Ron DeSantis in multiple tweets.
“Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream….a failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city,” tweeted Trump. “This is not what Florida wants or needs!”
Trump’s backing certainly made an impact. DeSantis gave the president credit for his nomination and said his supportive tweet “kind of put me on the map.”
Gillum, who will run against DeSantis come November, unexpectedly beat out Rep. Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) for the Democratic nomination.
“What has made Andrew’s campaign so powerful is that he’s not just working hard to win an election, he has laid out a vision for a new course for the state of Florida and our country,” said Sanders in a statement. “No one person can take on the economic and political elites on their own.”
There were other primary upsets across the country, proving that Democrats are going to bring a fight in November.
“This year, with the party at historic lows at the state level â€• Democrats control just 13 governorships â€• and President Donald Trump in the White House, voters in Florida have made a much different choice. They nominated 39-year-old Andrew Gillum, the African-American mayor of Tallahassee who has promised to focus as much on turning voters out as on winning them over,” writes The Huffington Post. “It’s a repeat of a choice Democratic primary electorates have also made in Georgia, where they picked state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who has built a career out of registering new voters; in Maryland, where Ben Jealous is banking on a blue wave; and in Arizona, where David Garcia â€• another primary winner on Tuesday â€• is counting on the excitement of the possibility of the first Latino governor in 40 years to fire up Latino voters.”
Democrats are painting these wins, especially those in Republican-controlled states, as voters showing their disappointment and that they are ready for a big change.
“Andrew Gillum’s massive upset victory tonight is an explosive development in the 2018 election that definitively proves that the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters are ready to deliver transformative results for candidates,” said Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of the progressive group Democracy for America. “Tonight, Floridians made it clear that the time for fundamental progressive change in the Sunshine State is here.”
However, Trump doesn’t seem threatened by these progressive opponents.
“Big Election Wins last night! The Republican Party will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Actually, it is happening faster than anybody thought possible! It is morphing into KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” tweeted Trump.
Not to mention, the progressive candidates have their own challenges they have to face.
“The FBI is investigating corruption in Gillum’s city hall. Abrams and Garcia are both facing television ad assaults from the cash-rich Republican Governors Association. Jealous is battling GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, who boasts a 70 percent approval rating,” writes The Huffington Post.