Dwight Bullard, the political director for New Florida Vision PAC, hailed Gillum's victory in the context of an increasingly diverse progressive movement.
"People are starting to wake up and realise what we need for America, and that is people who care and who have served and that want to make a better America where we work for it and it's not just handed to us", she said.
The use of language seen as containing coded racism prompted an extraordinary rebuke from the network.
DeSantis, who has represented Florida's 6th district in Congress since being elected in 2012, has frequently defended Trump on Fox News and in an advertisement in July that "teaches" his young children about the president.
Gillum seemed to gain momentum in the final weeks of the campaign, touring the state by bus and winning over voters in a crowded field that included Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene and Orlando-area businessman Chris King.
"I am not in favor in Florida, of doing recreational marijuana".
Grover Norquist, the president of American's for Tax Reform, praised DeSantis and his Republican opponent at the time they signed the pledge.
"That man is not racist at all, period", Donalds said. He will face Trump-endorsed Republican Ron DeSantis in November's general election, which forecasters have rated a toss-up. But spending almost $30 million against DeSantis seemed not enough to blunt his rise with the power of Trump.
In a morning tweet, Trump attacked Gillum as a "failed Socialist Mayor" and called him the "biggest dream" for Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Republican whose victory in Tuesday's GOP primary was propelled by Trump's endorsement over a more moderate opponent.More news: Iran and Syria sign defence and reconstruction deal
What our state and country needs is decency, hope, and leadership.
If elected in November, Gillum would be the first black governor of Florida, began his run as mayor of Tallahassee in 2014, and prides himself on his record of developing a thriving innovative economy, beating the gun lobby to protect reform and defending immigrants, according to his website.
Trump surprised Florida Republicans late past year with his endorsement of DeSantis, and frequently tweeted about the lawmaker, one of his staunchest supporters in Washington.
His comments brought a swift rebuke from Terrie Rizzo, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, who said they were racially tinged. Seven candidates fought for for the Democratic gubernatorial ticket, with Gillum surpassing many expectations.
DeSantis spokesman Dave Vasquez said that was not what the Republican nominee meant to imply.
"Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses. To characterize it as anything else is absurd".
While Gillum-who is now the mayor of Tallahassee-lacked the institutional backing and huge personal wealth of his Democratic opponents, he overcame this cash deficit with a massive surge in voter turnout, which was attributed to his unwavering embrace of popular policies like Medicare for All and raising the minimum wage. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and other progressives across the country despite the shadow cast over his administration by a federal investigation.
While he didn't make race an issue, Gillum said during a recent interview that it would be "big" to be Florida's first black governor.