Earlier today, President Donald Trump railed against Andrew Gillum, whose race against Ron DeSantis has triggered a recount after the margin between them became much slimmer. Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on Tuesday.
In a tweet, the president claimed that the Florida recount effort “is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy!”
Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him “back into play.” Bill Nelson conceded Election – now he’s back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Gillum soon fired back.
“What’s embarrassing to democracy is not counting every vote — and you, of course,” he wrote.
What’s embarrassing to democracy is not counting every vote — and you, of course.
Count every vote. https://t.co/ZfrBBcymrg
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 9, 2018
Gillum has 49.1 percent, or 4,023,124 votes, while DeSantis has 49.6 percent, or 4,066,059 votes, for a margin of just under 43,000, according to NBC News.
In a statement, Gillum said that since his concession speech, “it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount.”
“Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted,” the statement continued.
The two men have a history of sparring. Most recently, the president blasted the Tallahassee mayor as “a thief.”
In Florida there is a choice between a Harvard/Yale educated man named @RonDeSantisFL who has been a great Congressman and will be a great Governor – and a Dem who is a thief and who is Mayor of poorly run Tallahassee, said to be one of the most corrupt cities in the Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
Gillum countered that soon afterward, calling the president “weak.”
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 29, 2018
After Gillum won the Florida Democratic primary over the summer, Trump indicated that he’d thrown his support behind Republican primary winner Ron DeSantis, and he used his Twitter platform to brand Gillum a “failed Socialist Mayor” who “has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city.”
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. This is not what Florida wants or needs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
Then Gillum––who has never claimed to be anything other than a Democrat but has, as The Tampa Bay Times points out, “embraced the rising progressive wing” of his party––fired back, and his response made it clear that he views the president as the antithesis of what he hopes to achieve should he win this year’s gubernatorial election.
“What our state and country needs is decency, hope, and leadership,” he wrote, before taking a jab at the president.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) August 29, 2018
Contrary to Trump’s accusation, crime rates in Tallahassee have actually been reduced under Gillum’s leadership.
Gillum did, earlier this year, seek a state of emergency and aimed to shift power to the county sheriff, but that proposal was “rejected.”
In May, WCTV noted that:
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Annual Crime Report, both Tallahassee and Leon County saw significant drops in crime during 2017.
Overall, the crime rate has dropped by 15.1 percent. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office saw a reported 18.7 percent reduction, and the Tallahassee Police Department saw a 14.3 percent reduction.
Although there has been a decrease in crime, Leon County still stands as the Florida county with the highest crime rate per 100,000 people, with a rate of 4,802.4 for 2017. However, the FBI has warned readers not to make comparisons between the varying counties because of outside factors that affect the numbers, like a high student population.
When asked if he was “scared” of Trump’s role in the election, Gillum was adamant that “Trump and Ron DeSantis are both scraping from the bottom of the barrel.”
“I actually believe that Florida and its rich diversity are going to be looking for a governor who is going to bring us together, not divide us, not misogynist, not racists, not bigots. They are going to be looking for a governor who is going to appeal to our higher aspirations as a state,” he added at the time.