Democrat Andrew Gillum concedes Florida governor's race following vote recount

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum conceded Florida's gubernatorial election on Saturday as a recount of ballots neared its end, and the Democrat congratulated Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis on becoming the state's next governor.

Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis will become sunshine state's next governor

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, speaks at a news conference on Nov. 10 in Tallahassee, Fla. Following an initial recount, Gillum conceded on Saturday and congratulated his Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis. (Steve Cannon/Associated Press)

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum conceded Florida's gubernatorial election on Saturday as a recount of ballots neared its end, and the Democrat congratulated Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis on becoming the state's next governor.

"This has been the journey of our lives. We've been so honoured by the support that we've received," Gillum said in a video statement. "We know that this fight continues, in spite of the outcome of this election."

Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes.    

Gillum's announcement came hours after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Gillum will be a "strong Democrat warrior" and a "force to reckon with."

There was no immediate response from DeSantis or his campaign.

Despite a Republican winning the race for governor, counties across the state are still in the middle of a hand recount for two statewide contests, including the race for U.S. Senate. 

Counties have until noon on Sunday to report official results to the state officials.

With files from the Associated Press