The Latest: Puerto Rico Gov. endorses Gillum for governor

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Puerto Rico’s governor endorsing Florida Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate and governor (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Puerto Rico’s governor is backing Tallahassee’s Democratic mayor over a Republican U.S. congressman in Florida’s gubernatorial race.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Monday at a rally in Kissimmee, Florida, that he is impressed with Mayor Andrew Gillum’s energy and his support for Puerto Rican equality when it comes to getting federal benefits. Gillum is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Ron SeDantis.

It was the second time in the day that Rossello endorsed a Democrat for a statewide office in Florida.

Earlier in the day, he endorsed U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in his race to retain his seat against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans moved to Florida last year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Both Democrats and Republicans in Florida are courting their votes.

Some Puerto Ricans living in Florida say Rossello should have stayed neutral.

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12:15 p.m.

Puerto Rico’s governor is endorsing Florida’s incumbent Democratic U.S. senator over the Republican governor in what he calls a tough decision between two supporters of the island during a challenging year.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Monday at a news conference that U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott “are two great people.”

But Rossello says he ultimately endorsed Nelson because of the senator’s longstanding support for Puerto Rican equality when it comes to federal benefits and his support for statehood for the island.

Rossello announced the endorsement in Orlando. About 20 Puerto Rican supporters of Scott protested outside.

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans have moved to Florida in the year since Hurricane Maria devastated the island, and both candidates have courted their votes.

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