Gillum calls on Federal Bureau of Investigation to tell voters he is not a target

Kelli Ward speaks at a campaign rally Oct. 17 2017 in Scottsdale Ariz

DeSantis warned Wednesday: "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up, ' in a comment several Democrats denounced as racist dog-whistling".

Brzezinski said the Trump-endorsed lawmaker's comments were obviously and intentionally racist.

In an appearance on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily", Gillum told host Chuck Todd that the voters of Florida are "better than this".

Voters have elected just two black governors in USA history - in 2006 in MA and 1989 in Virginia. But in 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued subpoenas to the City of Tallahassee seeking development records.

For a second day in a row, the Florida governor's race played out over the national airwaves, as Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) continued to spar over whether the phrase "monkey this up" is racially charged.

President Donald Trump, on Twitter Wednesday, called Florida's Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum a socialist who has "allowed crime" to flourish in Tallahassee, where he is now the mayor.

"We were counted out every step of the way", Gillum said.

Asked whether he thinks Democrats should try to impeach the president if they retake the House, Gillum responded, "I absolutely do".

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. "And what I've got to say about that is that we've got to make sure that we stay focused, I think, on the issues that confront everyday people".

Republican Ron DeSantis, who is backed by President Donald Trump, made the comment while appearing on Fox and Friends. Overall crime was down in Tallahassee past year but the city saw a spike in homicides.

The DeSantis campaign said it would be "absurd" to characterize his remarks as racist.

In an interview with Politico, Mr Gillum said Florida would be "looking for a governor that was going to bring us together, not divide us".

The Facebook group, which was first uncovered by a Media Matters researcher, featured content ranging from users comparing Parkland high school shooting victims to Adolf Hitler, to others saying that Muslims worship a religion focused on "pedophilia, sex slavery, rape gangs, and honor killings". Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee, had a statement about you, Andrew Gillum, that says that you want to abolish ICE.

"Well, in the handbook of Donald Trump, they no longer do whistle calls", said Gillum.

DeSantis has already repeatedly hammered Gillum for calling for a 40 percent increase in the corporate tax rate to raise $1 billion for Florida schools. "Let's build off the success we've had on Gov. Scott", DeSantis said. Democrat Stacey Abrams won the party's nomination in Georgia in May.

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