Democrat Andrew Gillum formally conceded the race for governor—again.
“This has been the journey of our lives,” Gillum said in a Facebook Live video shortly before 5 p.m.
Gillum stood alongside wife R. Jai in an unidentified park setting, away from crowds he addressed in Tallahassee on Election Day, the first time he gave a concession speech.
In a conciliatory tone, he wished Republican Ron DeSantis well.
“R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great State of Florida,” Gillum said. “This has been the journey of our lives.”
The concession came hours after Republican President Donald Trump praised Gillum as a “strong Democrat warrior” and “a force to reckon with.”
Gillum later tweeted similar sentiments to DeSantis, who responded with a conciliatory tone as well.
“This was a hard-fought campaign,” DeSantis wrote. “Now it’s time to bring Florida together.”
Gillum initially conceded on Election Day as returns across the state showed DeSantis ahead.
But as late returns counted over the next two days put the raise within a 0.5 percent margin, triggering a machine recount for the Governor’s race and two other statewide contests.
That led Gillum to retract his initial concession.
In the following days, attorneys for Gillum closely watched recount proceedings as the Democrat toured the state encouraging the counting of every vote. Supporters for DeSantis and Gillum clashed in major protests outside elections offices in Broward County, where national media captured the friction of video.
The gubernatorial contest, though, was the least close of the three major races. The initial tabulation of the votes put DeSantis up 33,684 votes, or 0.41 percent of more than 8.2 million votes cast.
After a machine recount, the gap shrank by one, to 33,683 votes.
While Gillum straight into Saturday encouraged voters to make sure their vote-by-mail ballots did not get rejected in error, he ultimately conceded minutes before th 5 p.m. deadline for voters to contact election officials.
Gillum said in his Facebook video, though, that his own fight for progressive values would not end with this race.
“Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me, this was not just about an election cycle,” he said.
“More than 4 million of you decided you wanted a different direction for the state of Florida… Your voices will continue to power us as we stand at the front lines right alongside you to make this a state that works for all of us.”
We are going to keep fighting. We will keep working. And in the end, I believe that we will win. I am so thankful to each and every one of you. pic.twitter.com/fWCKQysGmZ
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 17, 2018