Andrew Gillum addresses his supporters after winning the Democrat primary for governor on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Fla. governor's race pits liberal Dem vs. Trump Republican

August 28, 2018 - 10:43 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A liberal Florida Democrat pulled off an upset victory in the state's primary for governor while President Donald Trump's favored candidate cruised to victory for the GOP.

Those primary races Tuesday set up a fierce fall showdown in the nation's largest political battleground.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who would be the state's first black governor, and Republican congressman Ron DeSantis both defeated more moderate opponents aligned with their parties' establishment.

In Arizona, congresswoman Martha McSally fended off a pair of conservative challengers to carry the Republican Senate primary to fill the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake. She'll face Democratic congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema.

GOP voters in Oklahoma backed mortgage company owner Kevin Stitt in a gubernatorial runoff. Stitt criticized his opponent as insufficiently supportive of Trump.