Florida Democrat Running For Governor Tells His Opponent ‘The Racists Believe He's Racist’

The tense Florida gubernatorial race has gone viral, as Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum attacked Republican nominee Ron DeSantis during a heated debate Wednesday night.

"Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I'm simply saying the racists believe he's racist,” said Gillum, referencing the rumored neo-Nazis campaigning for DeSantis and DeSantis’ public appearances at conferences hosted by anti-Muslim political activist David Horowitz.

DeSantis has denounced the neo-Nazis working on his campaign and claimed that he was “unaware” of Horowitz’s inflammatory comments against Muslims when agreeing to make an appearance.

However, race has always been a focus of this Florida election—if Gillum wins the election, he will be the first black governor of Florida.

Following the viral comment made by Gillum on Wednesday night, DeSantis appeared agitated and denied being a racist.  Yet, this isn’t the first time DeSantis has been in hot water while running for governor.

After winning the primary, he implored Florida voters not to “monkey this up” and vote for Gillum. The Republican was immediately criticized for his choice of words, a seemingly racist jab at Gillum. DeSantis denied the phrase was a reference to Gillum’s skin color, and instead was an attack on Gillum’s “socialist politics.”

When questioned about accepting support from white nationalists (including monetary donations), DeSantis appeared visibly agitated and instead flipped the attack on the press.

“I am not going to bow down to the altar of media correctness,” said DeSantis.

The gubernatorial race has been consistently close, with Gillum and DeSantis frequently trading leads. Gillum has also undergone heavy criticism this week as it was revealed he accepted Hamilton tickets from an undercover FBI agent in 2016. This supposedly under-the-table gift further casts suspicion on the FBI probe into Tallahassee corruption—the city where Gillum serves as mayor.

Despite the FBI probe, Gillum seemed relatively calm about the situation during the debate.

“We got 99 issues and Hamilton ain’t one of them,” Gillum said to uproarious applause.

Gillum and DeSantis will continue to face off in the polls until midterm elections November 6. You can follow the results here.