DeSantis: GOP voters overcame 'blue wave' spurred by Andrew Gillum

Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTrump officials not sending migrants to Florida after backlash Dem criticizes newest calendars for Trump Interior chief as 'fake' GOP gov pushes back on Trump plan to send migrants to Florida counties MORE (R) on Monday gave credit to his opponent, Andrew Gillum (D), for turning out droves of Democrats in this month's election.

"I think the fact that he was their nominee, he was really responsible for driving a lot of these Democrats to vote who don’t normally vote in midterm elections," DeSantis said in an appearance on "Fox & Friends."

DeSantis narrowly defeated Gillum in the gubernatorial race earlier this month. The Democrat conceded on election night before walking back his concession as vote totals tightened. Gillum officially conceded on Saturday amid a recount of votes.


DeSantis praised Gillum as a "formidable opponent" who inspired enthusiasm within the party in a nonpresidential year election.

"The Democrats turned out way more voters than they did in 2014, but I think what we did on the Republican side is we made sure we turned out our voters," DeSantis said. "So, there kind of was a blue wave, we just were able to overcome it."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE, who backed DeSantis in the race and labeled Gillum a "thief" during the campaign, called the Democrat a "force to reckon with" following his concession.

On Sunday, in another close Florida race, Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonRepublicans amp up attacks on Tlaib's Holocaust comments The muscle for digital payment Rubio says hackers penetrated Florida elections systems MORE (D-Fla.) conceded to Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the Senate race, giving Republicans narrow victories in both major statewide races.

Democrats nationwide managed to flip dozens of House seats in the midterms, winning back the majority in the lower chamber heading into the next session of Congress. The party was also able to flip several governorships and state legislative seats. But, the two Florida elections were major prizes with national attention that Republicans were able to win.

Republicans overall picked up a pair of Senate seats, extending the party to at least 52 seats in the Upper Chamber. Mississippi will hold a runoff election next week to determine the final Senate seat.