Florida candidates for governor name running mates

Posted at 10:35 AM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 11:12:23-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis picked state Rep. Jeanette Nunez to be his running mate Thursday, marking the first time a Cuban-American woman will be on the Florida ballot for lieutenant governor.

Nunez has represented a Miami district since 2010, and currently serves as speaker pro tempore.

The pick also is noteworthy because she has been at odds with some of the DeSantis' agenda supporting President Donald Trump. DeSantis won the nomination last week with Trump's endorsement, and he's been a constant defender of the president on Fox News.

But Nunez tweeted in during the 2016 presidential election that Trump was a con man who supported the Ku Klux Klan. Nunez was backing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for president at the time.

And while DeSantis has a tough-on-immigration position that's in line with Trump's, Nunez was the prime sponsor of a 2014 education bill to provide in-state tuition for immigrant families, a bill opposed by several immigration hardliners including current U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who has campaigned with DeSantis.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is picking Orlando-area businessman Chris King as his running mate as he seeks to become the first Democrat elected Florida governor since 1994.

Gillum made his announcement on Facebook Thursday morning.

King came in fifth of five leading Democrats seeking the nomination after spending several million dollars of his own money on the race. 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.