DeSantis' win was a crushing blow for Democrats, who had pinned their hopes on Gillum making history as the state's first black chief-of-state and recapturing the governor's mansion for the first time in almost a quarter of a century. Meanwhile, Republican Rick Scott, Florida's current governor, held a slim lead over incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson for a seat in the U.S. Senate, leading by 34,000 votes on Wednesday morning.
Last week, both former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump visited Florida to stump for candidates in their respective parties.
That was the largest difference in the number of voters who cast ballots for governor but chose not to pick a Senate candidate across all 67 of Florida's counties.
Gillum talked about how he tried to keep his campaign positive despite attacks from former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump.
Gillum's administration is under investigation for corruption by the FBI, while DeSantis has been accused of racism, including racist robocalls urging supporters not to vote for Gillum.
Gillum had pulled off an upset in the Democratic primary, winning the nomination after consistently polling in third for most of that race, but he was unable to carry that same momentum into the general election.
Every major media outlet has called the race for DeSantis, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Hill doesn't know whether Florida ever will count her votes for Gillum, who narrowly lost to DeSantis and conceded the race, or any other of her preferred candidates.
Republicans, meanwhile, were eyeing potential pickups in CT and OR, both traditionally Democratic states. "We recognize that we didn't win this tonight".
"... 'Let's just say it was a red brigade", the Florida elections official told Hill.
While much of the elections' focus was on which party would win control of the US Congress, Republicans and Democrats were battling across the country for state-level power. That changed in the final week, when Trump helped drive out Republican supporters.
The president injected himself into the race in December when, while taxiing on Air Force One on the runway at Palm Beach International Airport, he tweeted that DeSantis "would make a GREAT Governor of Florida".
Accusations of race-baiting dogged Kemp, 55, and DeSantis, 40, who denied the allegations.
The Miami Herald reported that he won Florida by about 56,000 votes.
Gillum was favored by polls to win the state, thanks to his strong support from the African American community and young people.
- Five Arrested Over Grenfell Tower Effigy Fire VIDEO
- From bad to worse: Trump's media relationship frays more
- All eyes on Nov 5 UK Cabinet meeting for Brexit breakthrough
- Amazon To Split Second Headquarters Between Two US Cities, Says Report
- Fans boo Blizzard at Blizzcon over Diablo mobile game
- Triumph the Insult Comic Dog mocks Ted Cruz on the campaign trail
- Can Manchester United win the Premier League this season?
- Chargers release Sturgis, promote Badgley — Kicker carousel
- Armed Militia Groups Head To The Border, Sparking Military Concerns
- The Trial of Mexican Drug Lord "El Chapo" Starts Monday in Brooklyn