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Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Ron DeSantis gives his victory speech during the Ron DeSantis for Governor Election Night Party in the Sebastian Ballroom at the Rosen Shingle Creek on Aug. 28 in Orlando. (TAILYR IRVINE   |   Times)
Ron DeSantis gives his victory speech during the Ron DeSantis for Governor Election Night Party in the Sebastian Ballroom at the Rosen Shingle Creek on Aug. 28 in Orlando. (TAILYR IRVINE | Times)
Published Oct. 7, 2018|Updated Oct. 8, 2018

Winner of the week
Ron DeSantis. The latest public polls showing Gillum barely ahead should help knock down the absurd buzz that the Democratic nominee was poised to walk away with the governor's race. This is Florida, where races almost always are within a point or two. There are hints that Desantis  is steadying his campaign after a rocky first month. We don't know yet whether doubling down on Trumpish provocation — on Saturday, DeSantis was joined by Matt Gaetz calling Gillum "Kill-em" and a Lee County GOP leader warning that Democratic-appointed judges rule based on "what you look like" – will be effective,. But bringing those cute DeSantis kids on the trail more often definitely will.

Loser of the week
Tallahassee. Republicans led by Ron DeSantis are painting Florida's capital city as a cesspool of crime, corruption, extended power outages. It's part of the campaign to attack Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor. Concerned about the city's image, a PR firm is funding a fact checking initiative at the Tallahassee Democrat to set the record straight about the city.

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