DeSantis may not have apologized for his "monkey" comment Wednesday, but Fox News revisited it. "But I think he's got another thing coming to him if he thinks that in today's day and age Florida voters are going to respond to that level of derision and division.
Gillum would be the state's first black governor. Republicans plan to use an FBI investigation of Tallahassee's municipal government against Gillum, though he's not directly been named a subject.
"We were counted out every step of the way", Gillum said.
Gillum is black. DeSantis' comments were nearly immediately ripped out of context and interpreted as racially motivated.
It's a sharp contrast to the traditional strategy for Florida statewide candidates who play to the base, through messaging and policy positions, in the primary but then pivot to a more centrist message in the general election.
"I think it's absolutely ridiculous", Rodgers said to Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising".
A new poll produced by Public Policy Polling gives Gillum, the progressive Tallahassee mayor who rocked the Democratic Party on Tuesday, 48 percent, and DeSantis, the conservative Republican nominee running with President Donald Trump, 43 percent, in the opening days of the November 6 election campaign.
DeSantis said he is more concerned with Gillum's plan to greatly hike business taxes in the state, adding that such a move would reverse progress made under Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and President Donald Trump.
Gillum, who was backed by Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vernmont independent, and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, became the second African American gubernatorial nominee in the South this year.
Trump had mostly stayed out of the race but he endorsed the 52-year-old McSally on Wednesday, saying she was "strong on crime" and "the border".
One thing is certain: The Gillum-DeSantis race will be bitter, hard fought, and expensive - costing millions of dollars. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd".
DeSantis also came out fighting, criticizing Gillum as "way, way, way too liberal for the state of Florida".
Abrams, a former minority leader in the George House, faces Brian Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state.