Andrew Gillum Is Ready. Is Florida?

Marvin Dunn, a historian of race relations in Florida, believes that Mr. Gillum’s race was a factor, but not the only one. His unapologetic progressive political positions turned off some moderates, and a F.B.I. investigation into corruption in Tallahassee — though Mr. Gillum said he was told he was not a target of the inquiry — dented his image, Mr. Dunn said.

Andrew Gillum, the Democrat for governor in Florida, was reluctant to withdraw his concession.CreditGabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

“Florida is changing. It is amazing that Gillum came within a whiff of winning, something that I would not have imagined 10 years ago,” said Mr. Dunn, a retired Florida International University professor. “It doesn’t mean racism has left Florida, the state is still a daughter of the Confederacy, but the balance of power is shifting. Race is less of an issue than it would have been in the past.”

Mr. DeSantis, for his part, has denied that race played any role in his campaign and called on Mr. Gillum to concede. Gov. Rick Scott, bogged down in a recount in his own tightly contested campaign for Senate with the incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, has also called for a quick end to the recount.

So has President Trump, who echoed Mr. Scott’s so-far-unsubstantiated claims of voting irregularities. “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible — ballots massively infected. Must go with election night!,” the president tweeted on Monday.

“You sound nervous,” Mr. Gillum replied on Twitter.

Still, Mr. Gillum has raised his own claims of voting disparities. He cited a report that a handful of voters in Bay County, a predominantly white Gulf Coast area ravaged by Hurricane Michael last month, were allowed to cast votes by email or fax while voters in more diverse counties on Florida’s densely populated East coast were screened more rigorously.

“In Bay County they were accepting votes by email,” he told his audience in Boynton Beach — 12 miles south of the president’s golf resort and Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago. “That was a deeply red county, a county I competed for even though I knew it was a deeply Republican area. But they want to question a man or a woman around here who stood 30 or 45 minutes or an hour in line?”

Mr. Gillum’s penchant for punching back has created an unusually deep bond between the mayor and African-American Floridians, who make about 13 percent of the state’s registered voters.

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