Tallahassee : A liberal Florida Democrat pulled off an upset victory while President Donald Trump’s favoured candidate cruised to an easy win, setting up a fierce showdown for the governor’s mansion in the nation’s largest political battleground.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, an unabashed progressive, won the Democratic primary, moving him a step away from becoming the state’s first black governor. He’ll face off against Trump-backed Republican Rep Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis gave Trump credit for his victory, saying with one supportive tweet, the President “kind of put me on the map.” Gillum is his party’s third black gubernatorial nominee this year, along with Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Ben Jealous in Maryland.

The results immediately transformed the Florida race into one of the most closely watched gubernatorial campaigns in the country. Gillum’s primary victory could help Democrats boost enthusiasm among minorities who often don’t vote in large numbers in years when a presidential candidate isn’t on the ballot.

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