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Ron DeSantis, Andrew Gillum Announce Running Mates in Race for Florida Governor

What to Know

  • Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is picking state Rep. Jeanette Nunez to be his running mate.
  • Nunez has represented a Miami district since 2010 and serves as speaker pro tempore.
  • Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum announced Chris King as his running mate.

With two months to go until Florida voters decide who will be the state’s next governor, both major party candidates have named their running mates for the November election

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who won the Republican nomination in a runaway victory fueled by an endorsement from President Donald Trump, selected State Representative Jeanette Nunez of Miami for the number two spot.

The 46-year-old Nunez, who served as Speaker pro tempore and has served in the chamber since 2010, would be the first Cuban American woman to serve in the state’s executive branch if elected.

DeSantis announced his choice through a press release Thursday just ahead of a rally with Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate. When Trump was running for president, Nunez called him a con man on Twitter. The same tweet also accused Trump of supporting the Ku Klux Klan. 

Nunez told reporters Thursday that "elections are elections" and "it is what it is," adding it was no secret she was a Marco Rubio supporter during the 2016 GOP race for the presidential nomination.

Meanwhile, Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum announced his selection live on his Facebook page, naming Orlando businessman - and former candidate for Governor - Chris King as his choice for the No. 2 spot.

The 39-year-old King, who campaigned as a "Christian progressive" during the primary season, finished last in the five candidate field but developed a friendship with Gillum during the election process.

His campaign was noted for his criticism of the sugar industry, a call for a tax on bullets to be used for school safety, and a proposal to abolish the death penalty.

King has never held public office and highlighted his business experience during his campaign. He is CEO of Elevation, a company that invests in and manages affordable housing for seniors.

Gillum became the first African-American nominated by a major party for Florida’s top spot when he won August's primary election.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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