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    Jimmy Butler knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired in overtime, and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame a career-high 60 points from Kemba Walker to beat the Charlotte Hornets 122-119 on Saturday night. Butler's play in the final seconds was the difference. He blocked Walker's shot and saved the ball to a teammate with 15 seconds left, setting the stage for his winning jumper from the top of the key over Dwayne Bacon. Joel Embiid finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds and Ben Simmons had 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the 76ers defeated the Hornets for the third time this season. Butler had 15 points in his third game with his new team. Walker's 60 points were the most in the NBA this season, topping Klay Thompson's 52 against Chicago on Oct. 29. Walker finished 21 of 34 from the field and had six 3-pointers. He made all 12 foul shots and had seven rebounds and four assists. Walker had 37 and 30 points in his previous two games against the 76ers, but only shot a combined 33 percent. This time he was making everything, including banking in a 3-pointer to give the Hornets the lead with 44 seconds left in regulation. Walker held up his palms after the ball went it, similar to that famous gesture by Hornets owner Michael Jordan many years ago with the Bulls. Embiid has feasted on the Hornets this season, with 42 points and 18 rebounds and 27 points and 15 rebounds in his previous two games. JJ Redick finished with 23 points for Philadelphia, including two key jumpers in overtime. TIP-INS 76ers: Simmons threw an alley-oop pass to a breaking Butler from three-quarters court. Hornets: Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry were among those on hand as Charlotte celebrated its recently selected 30th anniversary team. ... Nic Batum, who has struggled of late, was booed by the home crowd after an airball in the third quarter. He didn't score in the game and only played two minutes in the second half. ... James Borrego picked up his first technical foul as Hornets coach. ... Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller fouled out. UP NEXT 76ers: Host the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Hornets: Host the Boston Celtics on Monday night. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Democrat Gil Cisneros captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat in Southern California on Saturday, capping a Democratic rout in which the party picked up six congressional seats in the state. In what had been the last undecided House contest in California, Cisneros beat Republican Young Kim for the state's 39th District seat. The Cisneros victory cements a stunning political realignment that will leave a vast stretch of the Los Angeles metropolitan area under Democratic control in the House. With Kim's defeat, four Republican-held House districts all or partly in Orange County, California, a one-time nationally known GOP stronghold southeast of Los Angeles, will have shifted in one election to the Democratic column. The change means that the county — Richard Nixon's birthplace and site of his presidential library — will only have Democrats representing its residents in Washington next year. Democrats also recently picked up the last Republican-held House seat anchored in Los Angeles County, when Democrat Katie Hill ousted Republican Rep. Steve Knight. With other gains — Republicans also lost a seat in the agricultural Central Valley — Democrats will hold a 45-8 edge in California U.S. House seats next year. The district was one of seven targeted by Democrats across California after Hillary Clinton carried them in the 2016 presidential election. Cisneros, 47, a $266 million lottery jackpot winner, had been locked in a close race with Kim in a district that has grown increasingly diverse. It's about equally divided between Republicans, Democrats and independents, as it is with Asians, Hispanics and whites. Kim, 55, a former state legislator, worked for years for retiring Republican Rep. Ed Royce, who is vacating the seat and had endorsed her. In a state where President Donald Trump is unpopular, Kim sought to create distance with the White House on trade and health care. Her immigrant background — and gender — made her stand out in a political party whose leaders in Washington are mostly older white men. 'I'm a different kind of candidate,' she had said. It wasn't enough. Democratic ads depicted her as a Trump underling, eager to carry out his agenda. Cisneros, a first-time candidate, described his interest in Congress as an extension of his time in the military — he said it was about public service. He runs a charitable foundation with his wife. On health care, he talked about his mother who went without insurance for 16 years. 'That should just not happen in this country,' he had said. While the election delivered mixed results around the U.S., it affirmed California's reputation as a Democratic fortress. Democrats are on track to hold every statewide office — again. The party holds a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature — and a 3.7-million advantage in voter registration. There wasn't even a Republican on the ballot for U.S. Senate.
  • Less than two years ago, Clay Helton left the Rose Bowl field in triumph after leading Southern California past Penn State in one of the most thrilling bowl games ever played. The Trojans' head coach left the same field Saturday by walking underneath a red-lettered sign reading 'HELTON OUT. TIME FOR CHANGE.' Helton still had his job as he left Pasadena following USC's 34-27 loss to struggling UCLA, the fourth loss in five games overall for the Trojans (5-6, 4-5 Pac-12). But disgruntled USC supporters chanted for his firing during the game, and more fans shouted insults at him while he walked up the tunnel to a somber locker room. The coach spoke in the locker room with athletic director Lynn Swann, and Helton said he got no indication a coaching change is imminent at the West Coast's premier program. 'He just hugged my neck in there and said, 'Coach, see you Monday,'' Helton said. 'Look forward to it.'' Helton has repeatedly said he doesn't expect to lose his job this season, and Swann has backed him in public. But just two seasons after that Rose Bowl triumph, and just one season after a Pac-12 title capped the best two-year stretch to start a coaching tenure in USC history, even the folksy Texan realizes his job security looks tenuous from the outside. 'It doesn't bother me,' Helton said of the vociferous boos and taunts from USC's fans at the Rose Bowl. 'My main heartbreak is for our seniors, because I wanted it for them. I know the job. The job is if you win, people are going to pat you on the back, and if you lose, you know they're going to get after you. If you don't like it, don't be in this profession. I know it. It rolls off my back, so I'm not worried about it.' With its season in tatters, USC would have to upset unbeaten Notre Dame next weekend just to become bowl-eligible. The Trojans haven't had a seven-loss regular season since 2000, coach Paul Hackett's final year before Pete Carroll took over and started a renaissance. Helton expects to be on the sideline to face the Fighting Irish. 'I live just like I told you: I work my butt off every 24 hours to try to buy another 24,' Helton said. 'If you work as hard as you can and do the best job you can for your kids and for the university you love, you have no regrets, and I don't. I'll continue to work as hard as humanly possible. I've got great support from USC, from Lynn Swann and from these kids, and I owe it to them to work as hard as I can for them.' Just 9 1/2 months ago, Helton received a contract extension through the 2023 season. The deal from Swann was a reward for winning a school-record 21 games in his first two seasons, including that epic Rose Bowl triumph and the Trojans' first Pac-12 title since 2008. USC's loss to the rival Bruins was the most damaging blow yet to the longtime offensive assistant who took over a team engulfed in turmoil midway through the 2015 season and eventually led it to remarkable heights, only to see it all crash down in the past three months. The Trojans were terrible offensively in early-season losses to Texas and Stanford before their current 1-4 skid. Even his detractors must admit Helton has given stability to a turbulent program and provided adult leadership at a school sorely lacking it in recent years. But while the Trojans were winning big over the past two years, a large segment of USC fans still never bought into Helton, who had never been a head coach before replacing Steve Sarkisian. They critiqued his offensive imagination, his choice of assistants and even the incongruity of his Southern style in the heart of California. As the losses pile up, the boos have only grown louder at a school trying to sell tickets and suites at the renovated Coliseum next season. Many fans point out that Helton's Trojans have largely struggled whenever Sam Darnold wasn't Helton's quarterback, and freshman passer J.T. Daniels had another rough game at the Rose Bowl, going 20 of 34 for 337 yards and two costly interceptions. Daniels, the nation's top prep quarterback last season, gave impassioned postgame support for the coach who recruited him out of Orange County. 'Nobody wants to see him go,' Daniels said. 'Everybody here that knows him loves him. If you blame Clay Helton for that loss, then you have no idea what football is. There's things that players aren't executing, and that's it. The players' part of the ballgame is to make the plays. We have the opportunity.' ___ More AP college football: www.apnews.com/CollegeFootball and www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • First, it was Loyola. Next came Villanova. One by one, Furman is picking off teams from last year's Final Four and proving to be the surprise story of the first month of the college basketball season. Jordan Lyons scored 17 points, Matt Rafferty had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Furman stunned the defending national champion and eighth-ranked Wildcats in overtime, 76-68 on Saturday. 'We're just tiny old Furman,' coach Bob Richey said. 'Most people ask us what state we're in, what city we're in. Now all of a sudden people are starting to figure out who Furman is.' If opponents and fans aren't paying attention to the team from Greenville, South Carolina, they'd better start now. Clay Mounce added 15 points and Noah Gurley and Alex Hunter scored 13 apiece for the surging Paladins, who have started 5-0 for the first time in 30 years. Lyons and Rafferty delivered huge buckets in overtime to key a 7-0 spurt that put the Paladins ahead 69-63 in the final minute, enough cushion for them to hang on for the victory in front of a shocked sellout crowd at the recently renovated Finneran Pavilion. 'It almost can bring me to tears to think about how proud I am of the resolve, the resiliency and the fight this team has,' Richey said. 'They play together, they play connected. It's the definition of a team.' Phil Booth scored 20 points and Colin Gillespie had 19 for the Wildcats (2-2), who were coming off a 27-point loss to Michigan in a rematch of April's national championship game. It marked the first time Villanova lost back-to-back games since March of 2013. 'It's not that shocking, to be honest,' Booth said. 'They're a very good team. We're still a young team trying to find our way.' Trailing 58-53 with under four minutes to play in regulation, Joe Cremo hit a 3-pointer, Booth scored and Gillespie made a layup in transition to put Villanova in front, 60-58, in the final minute. After Lyons hit two free throws to tie the game at 60, Booth missed on the other end and Hunter misfired on a long 3-pointer in the final seconds. Cremo was called for a foul while going for the rebound, but Rafferty couldn't connect on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2.6 seconds left, setting the game up for OT. Rafferty said his teammates picked him up and told him to make up for the missed free throw in overtime — which he did. 'This was incredible,' Rafferty said. 'I've never been a part of something like this.' ROAR OF THE LYONS Two days after pouring in 54 points while matching an NCAA record with 15 3-pointers in a 107-67 win over North Greenville, Lyons had more big buckets, including one that put Furman ahead 48-46 with a little over eight minutes remaining. Richey was proud of how the junior guard dealt with 'Nova's defense, especially after he was held to five points in the first half. 'He was mature enough to know he had to play within our team concept,' Richey said. 'He got going in the second half. I was really proud of him.' CHEMISTRY ISSUES Although he put his team on his back at times, scoring five straight points during one stretch to tie the game at 51, Booth shouldered a lot of the blame for the loss. 'I have to do a better job of showing the team what Villanova basketball is on both ends of the floor,' said Booth, a senior guard who was a part of the Wildcats' national championship teams in both 2016 and 2018. 'We're trying to work on a lot of chemistry things as a team,' he added. BIG PICTURE Furman: It's only November, but the Paladins are looking like a team that will be dangerous in March. In their only other road game of the season, they upset last season's NCAA Tournament darling, Loyola-Chicago, on a last-second dunk. Villanova: After losing four players from last year's national championship squad to the NBA draft, coach Jay Wright continues to search for his best rotation. On Saturday, freshman Jahvon Quinerly, a five-star recruit, didn't get in the game after playing key minutes in Villanova's first three games. The Wildcats' depth also took a hit Friday when the team announced that redshirt sophomore Dylan Painter will transfer. 'You always want to get the young guys in,' Wright said. 'It was close and then we got down the stretch and you try to ride it out with the older guys and hope you can get through the game.' UP NEXT Furman hosts Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday. Villanova faces Canisius in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando on Thanksgiving. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • A privately-owned vintage World War II Mustang fighter airplane that had participated in a flyover for a museum event crashed into the parking lot of a Texas apartment complex Saturday, killing the pilot and a passenger, authorities said. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Orlando Moreno confirmed the two people on board had died in the crash in Fredericksburg, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of San Antonio, but he did not identify them. The aircraft was destroyed and several vehicles in the parking lot damaged, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said. Photos from the crash site showed pieces of the plane on top of parked vehicles. There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths on the ground. The P-51D Mustang fighter was returning after performing a flyover during a living history show at the National Museum of the Pacific War, museum director Rorie Cartier told The Associated Press in an email. Fredericksburg is home to the museum . The museum said on Twitter that one of those in the plane was a military veteran. 'We are extremely saddened by the unfortunate accident this afternoon that claimed the lives of two wonderful people. We express our deepest condolences to the families of both on board,' Cartier said. The Mustang was first built by North American Aviation in 1940 and was used by the U.S. military in World War II and the Korean War. The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA said they would investigate.
  • Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius was nearly flawless against Oklahoma last week, only to misfire on a 2-point conversion pass to Tylan Wallace in a one-point loss. On Saturday, the connection worked. Cornelius threw a touchdown pass to Wallace with 42 seconds remaining and Oklahoma State beat No. 7 West Virginia 45-41. The low-key Cornelius didn't show how disappointed he was in the way the Oklahoma game ended, but coach Mike Gundy had an idea how his redshirt senior felt. 'You could never see it, but you would think that inside it just tore him to pieces,' Gundy said. In his final home game, Cornelius passed for 338 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 106 yards and another score to help Oklahoma State (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) become bowl eligible. 'For him to be able to finish this way is a big deal,' Gundy said. Down 31-14 at the half, the Cowboys won despite leading rusher Justice Hill sitting out with a rib injury. 'Our coaches made tremendous adjustments at halftime,' Gundy said. 'I couldn't be prouder of them.' Chuba Hubbard rushed for a career-high 134 yards for Oklahoma State, and Dillon Stoner caught nine passes for a career-best 127 yards. Grier passed 364 yards and two touchdowns, but his Heisman campaign took a hit with the loss. Kennedy McKoy rushed for a career-high 148 yards for the Mountaineers. West Virginia (8-2, 6-2, No. 9 CFP) faces Oklahoma next Friday and still has a shot at reaching the Big 12 title game. Grier's 6-yard touchdown run on fourth down in the fourth quarter gave West Virginia a 41-31 lead, but Cornelius' 9-yard touchdown run and a stop by Oklahoma State's defense put the Cowboys in position to win. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen felt his team should have been in a better position late. 'I think we left probably 14 points out there,' he said. 'When you are in the red zone and can't punch it in — if you are a great offense, you do that.' It's the first time Oklahoma State has beaten Top 10 teams in back-to-back home games — the Cowboys knocked off Texas on Oct. 27. In between, the Cowboys lost 35-31 at Baylor and 48-47 at Oklahoma. 'They have been in a lot of these games, and you can tell they had a little bit better mindset down the stretch than we did,' Holgorsen said. 'It's disappointing that we had a chance to close them out and we didn't.' THE TAKEAWAY West Virginia: The Mountaineers wasted a major opportunity and now don't have quite as much to play for against Oklahoma. Oklahoma State: Cornelius made up for two interceptions earlier in the game with a strong fourth quarter. QUOTABLE Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, on Cornelius: 'If you can't respect the way that young man's played and how he's bounced back and how he's played against really good defenses — who's played better than him against the top defenses in this league?' STAT LINES Cornelius has completed 64 of 99 passes for 839 yards and eight touchdowns his past two games. POLL IMPLICATIONS West Virginia will likely drop out of the Top 10 after the loss. UP NEXT West Virginia hosts No. 6 Oklahoma on Friday. Oklahoma State plays at TCU on Saturday. ___ Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Greenpeace says six of its activists boarded a tanker transporting Indonesian palm oil in the Gulf of Cadiz and were detained by its captain after unfurling 'Save our Rainforest' and 'Drop Dirty Palm Oil' banners. A ship tracking website shows the Stolt Tenacity, which Greenpeace says is carrying palm oil from Wilmar International linked to tropical forest destruction in Indonesia, was bound for Rotterdam. Greenpeace says the activists from Indonesia, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and the U.S. are being detained in a cabin on the ship. Palm oil is used in a huge array of consumer goods from makeup to snacks. Wilmar supplies Mondelez, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate. Greenpeace said the Stolt Tenacity's captain was informed in advance that the protest, staged Saturday, would be peaceful.
  • The band was an Aaron Judge moon shot away from the field, way up in the right-field bleachers of Yankee Stadium. Still, the Fighting Irish lined up in the end zone/outfield and sang the alma mater — just as they would have at Notre Dame Stadium — after dispatching No. 12 Syracuse and putting themselves a step away from the College Football Playoff. Ian Book returned to the starting lineup for No. 3 Notre Dame and threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns as the Fighting Irish routed the Orange 36-3 on Saturday to stay unbeaten. The Irish will head West next week to face struggling rival Southern California, with a spot in the playoff in their grasp. 'I don't know that if we win our last game that we're going to the playoffs, but that's not in our control,' coach Brian Kelly said. 'What we can control is how we prepare. If we do a good job there and win our game then we would have won all our games and we'll let people decide who should go to the playoffs.' Notre Dame held out Book from last week's home game against Florida State with a rib injury. He wasn't missed as the Irish (11-0, No. 3 CFP) rolled with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback. They clearly wanted to be cautious with Book ahead of their trip to the Bronx to face high-scoring Syracuse (8-3, No. 12 CFP), averaging 44 points per game. Book, the junior quarterback who took over as the starter four games into the season, looked good as new. 'The ribs feel good,' Book said. 'Wasn't even thinking about them during the game.' Donning pinstripe uniforms in a tribute to the usual residents of the ballpark, Notre Dame went up 7-0 on its second possession on a 9-yard pass from Book to Dexter Williams. The Subway Alumni, along with the bridge and tunnel crowd, packed Yankee Stadium on a 45-degree day in the Bronx. The sellout crowd was announced at 48,104. That the Fighting Irish were playing such an important game away from South Bend, Indiana, did not sit well with most of their fans. Even Kelly said it was not ideal. Part of the Shamrock Series, the off-site 'home' games Notre Dame plays almost annually, the Irish's second trip to the new Yankee Stadium had been in the works for several years. Adding to the anxiety of playing a Syracuse team having its best season in more than a decade was Notre Dame's unusual stretch schedule. Notre Dame has played only one home game since mid-October and the trip to USC will be its second to the West Coast in five weeks. Turns out, there was nothing to worry about in New York. The most significant college football game at Yankee Stadium since No. 1 Army and No. 2 Notre Dame played a 0-0 tie in 1946 was no Game of the Century. 'We've played in California, Chicago and New York,' Book said. 'I think it's awesome. I think it's great experiences for us. We might have to fly a little bit more than other teams but I don't think it hurts anyone.' THE TAKEAWAY Syracuse: The Orange played most of the game without starting quarterback Eric Dungey, who left in the first quarter with what the school said was an upper-body injury. Coach Dino Babers said they would know more about Dungey's condition when he was examined upon return to Syracuse. Tommy DeVito, who came off the bench earlier this season to relieve Dungey against North Carolina and lead the Orange to an overtime victory, stepped in but looked overmatched. The redshirt freshman was sacked six times and picked off twice. Notre Dame: Only a field goal with 10 seconds left denied the Irish their first shutout since Sept. 6, 2014, when they beat Michigan 31-0 in South Bend. SCOUTING REPORT Syracuse has played both No. 2 Clemson and Notre Dame this season, losing a close game in Death Valley. 'I will tell you this: Notre Dame is better than what people think they are,' Babers said. 'That's a really, really good football team. All I'll say is this: Clemson is extremely talented. So I think there's no doubt those two teams are in the top four in the country.' BATTER UP Notre Dame improved 17-6-3 all-time at Yankee Stadium, including 3-0 at the newest version since Kelly took over. UP NEXT Syracuse: Finishes the regular season at No. 22 Boston College. Notre Dame: The Irish have not won at USC since 2012, when the victory locked up a spot in the BCS championship game. ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • A Utah mayor killed while serving in the National Guard in Afghanistan had 'loved the Afghan people' and was a man of conviction, confidence and compassion, family and military leaders said at a public funeral Saturday. Brent Taylor, 39, was a deeply patriotic man who was committed to training commandos as part of an effort to build the capacity of the Afghan national army, Utah Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton said at the service inside an events center in the northern Utah city of Ogden. Taylor was killed Nov. 3 in an attack by one of the Afghan commandos he was training, military officials said. 'He was completely committed to going and doing this job,' Burton said. 'He truly loved the Afghan people and wanted to help them so they could build capacity in themselves and as a nation to be able to stand on their own.' Taylor's casket was draped in an American flag and sat in front of a stage where his father, a local leader with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led the services. The choir sang 'America the Beautiful' as the opening hymn and 'Born to be a Soldier' to close in a nod to the service's focus on Taylor's love of country and commitment to sacrifice. His wife, Jennie, didn't speak but has previously said the family felt 'heartache but no regret' because Taylor was trying to bring freedom to others. Besides his wife, Taylor leaves behind their seven children, ranging from 11 months to 13 years old. The memorial service capped off several days of events to honor Taylor. Hundreds of soldiers saluted Taylor's flag-covered casket Wednesday as his remains returned to a National Guard base in Salt Lake City. A couple hundred motorcycle riders carrying American flags followed the hearse north to Taylor's hometown of North Ogden in a procession. On Friday, a National Guard member stood guard over his casket during an all-night vigil at a mortuary. Taylor had taken yearlong leave of absence as the mayor of North Ogden to go on his second tour to Afghanistan. Taylor, a military intelligence officer with Joint Force Headquarters, also had served two tours in Iraq. Younger brother Derek Taylor said Brent had a knack for bridging gaps and finding resolutions among people with different views — a talent he developed at the family home where fights and disagreements were frequent. He said his brother always ended their phone conversations with 'Love ya, Derek.' He said his brother was blessed with 'three Cs,' — commitment, confidence and compassion — and those were the driving force behind everything he accomplished. 'As a brother, Brent was as good as they come,' Derek Taylor said. 'He was the best of all of us.' Toby Mileski, a friend and former mayor of Pleasant View, a town neighboring North Ogden, remembered Taylor for his love of eating, his penchant for always running late and his good sense of humor. 'We were always laughing — always — and that's one thing I'm really going to miss,' Mileski said, later adding, 'Jennie, kids, your dad was a warrior, a patriot and a super person. I am honored and blessed have been able to call him my best friend.
  • Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida's young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor's office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state's first black nominee for the post. Gillum, whose refrain had been 'bring it home' as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park. In his four-minute plus video , Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: 'stay tuned.' Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature. His final act as a candidate was less confrontational than that of another prominent African-American candidate in this year's midterm elections: Stacy Abrams in neighboring Georgia ended her campaign for governor on Friday, ceding to a Republican with an unapologetically indignant tone establishing herself as a leading voting rights advocate. 'This has been the journey of our lives,' said Gillum, appearing in the video with his wife, R. Jai Gillum. 'Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me that this was not just about an election cycle. This was about creating the type of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government, in our state, and in our communities. We know that this fight continues.' Gillum's concession came hours before Florida's counties must turn in their official results at noon Sunday after tense days of recounting ballots in both the gubernatorial and a U.S. Senate contest — two nationally watched midterm elections that have keep the presidential swing state on edge since Election Day. Gillum's brief remarks came hours after President Donald Trump, who at one point in the campaign had sharply criticized Gillum, praised him for running a tough race. 'He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future - a force to reckon with!' said Trump in a Twitter post. Gillum had initially conceded to DeSantis on election night, but he retracted it as the razor-thin margin between the two candidates narrowed. But he still trailed DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes following a legally required machine recount. Counties are wrapping up a hand recount this weekend and must submit their official results by noon Sunday. Gillum's concession assures Florida Republicans will retain their grasp on the governor's office since Jeb Bush's term starting in 1999. DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before DeSantis even entered the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and visited Florida two more times to help the Republican in the final days of the election. DeSantis's campaign did not respond to Gillum's remarks, pointing instead to a statement the former congressman put out two days ago. 'Campaigns are meant to be vigorously debated contests of ideas and competing visions for the future,' DeSantis said. 'The campaign for governor achieved this objective as evidenced by historic voter turnout from people of all parties across our state. But campaigns of ideas must give way to governing and bringing people together to secure Florida's future. With the campaign now over, that's where all of my focus will be.' DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the Aug. 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn't 'monkey this up' by electing Gillum. Despite implications that DeSantis is racially insensitive — an idea he angrily disputed during a debate — he is poised to officially win the state that Trump carried in 2016. He has promised to keep intact many of the same policies on education and health care that have been in place by previous Republican governors. DeSantis ran as a political outsider despite serving three terms in Congress and running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 before dropping out of the race when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election. DeSantis is a former Navy officer who graduated from Yale University before getting his law degree at Harvard University. He gained name recognition during the primary with more than 100 appearances on Fox News, often to defend the president. DeSantis ran a largely negative campaign, calling Gillum a socialist and saying he oversaw one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden cities in the state. Trump joined in on the criticism, tweeting similar messages. The corruption allegation stemmed from a continuing FBI investigation into City Hall that Gillum has said he is not a target of and is cooperating with; the charge that Tallahassee had the state's highest crime rate was false. Gillum portrayed DeSantis as racially divisive, repeatedly pointing out his 'monkey this up' comment. 'I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist,' Gillum said previously. Gillum's announcement came as most Florida counties were winding down their hand recount in the state's contentious U.S. Senate race. The smattering of results publicly posted Saturday showed that Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was only gaining a few hundred votes in his bitter contest with outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican. State officials ordered a manual recount earlier in the week after a legally required machine recount showed that Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race. Nelson and Democrats filed several lawsuits following the close election, challenging everything from the state's signature mismatch law to deadlines for mail-in ballots. If the 76-year-old Nelson loses, it would likely spell an end to a lengthy political career that stretches back four decades. Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A win for Scott would mark his third victory since the multimillionaire businessman launched his political career in 2010. In each race, Scott has barely edged his Democratic opponent. State law requires a machine recount in races where the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less. Once that recount was complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount is ordered. Local canvassing boards only review ballots where a vote was not recorded by voting machines.