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Gillum Picks King, DeSantis Chooses Nuñez for Lt. Governor

Chris King, left, and Jeanette Nuñez, right, are the Democratic and Republican candidates for Lt. Governor.
Chris King, left, and Jeanette Nuñez, right, are the Democratic and Republican candidates for Lt. Governor.

Both of the candidates running for Florida governor, Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis, announced their lieutenant governor Thursday morning. 

In a Facebook Live video, Gillum picked Chris King – an Orlando-based businessman who came in fifth place in the Democratic primary.

Republican Ron DeSantis chose Jeanette Nuñez – a state representative from Miami who has served in the House for eight years.

Standing with Tallahassee Mayor Gillum and their spouses, King spoke of their friendship and common vision for Florida.

“To lift up families all across the state who have not had a champion like Mayor Gillum, who have not had someone who has spoken up to issues that the current leadership just doesn't care about,” said King.

King said their campaign will focus on affordable housing, access to healthcare and gun control.

Gillum and King became friends during the 18-month gubernatorial race.

“I know that these two people that we get to stand next to love this state as much as R. Jai and I do," said Gillum. We love our families and what this race is going to be about, is where we want to go as a state, not where we’ve been, but where we want to go."

While Gillum would become Florida’s first African-American governor if elected, Nuñez would become the first Cuban-American woman to hold the position of lieutenant governor if DeSantis wins.

“Jeanette Nuñez is a strong, principled leader who will be an outstanding Lieutenant Governor for the people of Florida,” said DeSantis. “Jeanette will help us build on our economic success, protect our environment and empower parents to make the best educational decisions for their children.”

According to Politico, Nuñez originally did not want to be lieutenant governor. She decided to consider the position after Florida Senator Marco Rubio made the suggestion in response to Gillum’s win in the Democratic primary.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Florida with Congressman DeSantis,” said Nuñez. “In South Florida, we know that by empowering the free market – not big government – we succeed as a state.”

The general elections will be held Tuesday, November 6.

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Eillin Delapaz is a WUSF radio intern for the fall 2018 semester.