In a race that has already been marred by allegations of racism, Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum has been targeted by racist robocalls sent out by a white supremacist organization, Politico reported.
Gillum, the state's first-ever black gubernatorial nominee and the mayor of Tallahassee, was mocked in the calls sent by an Idaho-based neo-Nazi group called The Road to Power.
"This is reprehensible -- and could only have come from someone with intentions to fuel hatred and seek publicity," said Geoff Burgan, Gillum's communications director to the Tallahassee Democrat.
What's going on?
Some people already have interpreted comments by Rep. Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for governor, as being racist, although DeSantis denies they had any racial connotation.
DeSantis, who warned voters that Gillum would "monkey up" the economy because of his "socialist" leanings, condemned the racist calls via his spokesman.
"This is absolutely appalling and disgusting -- and hopefully whoever is behind this has to answer for this despicable action," Lawson said. "Our campaign has and will continue to focus solely on the issues that Floridians care about and uniting our state as we continue to build on our success."
Media outlets that have heard the robocalls have refused to publish their contents because of how derogatory they are, but Business Insider described them vaguely:
"The recording, which is automatically triggered when a recipient answers the call, is read by a person speaking in a minstrel-style voice as jungle noises play in the background, The Tallahassee Democrat first reported Friday. The calls conclude by saying that they are funded by The Road to Power, an Idaho-based neo-Nazi group reportedly behind other racist robocalls in Charlottesville, Virginia, Oregon and California."
More racial controversy
In addition, DeSantis withdrew Thursday as the moderator of a Tea Party-themed Facebook page that contained racist posts, which DeSantis claims he was added to without his knowledge.