University of Central Florida College Republicans are thrilled by the results of Tuesday night’s primary election.
“I think all the candidates ran on respectable platforms,” College Republican Chairwoman Sarah Gibson said. “And as always, the people decided who they were most proud to send forward into the general [election].”
Congressman Ron DeSantis defeated Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam by nearly 20 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics. DeSantis’ victory comes after President Trump gave him his full endorsement earlier in the campaign.
“The majority of republicans stand firm behind Trump,” College Republican Secretary Luke Strominger said.
While DeSantis and many other candidates down the ballot may not have been some conservative students first choice, most are eager and ready to back their party’s candidates.
“I’m with the party,” Aaron Bettinger said. “I would have liked to see my candidates win, but I think the Republicans of Florida have spoken and now it’s time to unite.”
DeSantis will be facing off against the Democratic nominee Mayor Andrew Gillum for the Governorship this November in what will be a race with national implications.
As Knight News previously reported, Gillum is endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders. Based on the candidate’s endorsements, this race has turned into a proxy battle between the Sanders and the President.
“I think we have a tough general election ahead of us,” Gibson said. “In nearly every midterm the party in control losses seats.”
The latest poll placing Gillum Vs. DeSantis shows the conservative congressman with a three-percentage point lead over the progressive mayor. It is important to note though that this poll was taken back in late July, prior to the primary elections.
The College Republicans at UCF are committed to keeping Florida red and plan to continue their tabling efforts, knocking on doors, phone banking and campaigning around the state, according to club leadership.
“I think Florida is a conservative state as a whole,” Bettinger said. “And groups like the college republicans will be working hard to keep it red.”
Here are the winners down the Republican Ballot:
Governor: Ron DeSantis
Senator: Rick Scott
Attorney General: Ashley Moody
Agriculture Commissioner: Matt Caldwell
Congressman U.S. House District 7: Mike Miller