Bernie Sanders Endorses Andrew Gillum For Governor Of Florida

Avatar
Written by Dana Sanchez

 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum on Wednesday for Governor of Florida, but some Gillum supporters and Democratic insiders say it might be too late.

Considered the darling of the modern progressive movement, Gillum has been endorsed and funded by liberal donor George Soros. California billionaire Tom Steyer promised to give more than $1 million to the Gillum campaign and devoted his NextGen organization in Florida to Gillum’s bid for governor, Politico reported.

Florida voters are already starting to cast mail-in ballots — about 30,000 from Democrats as of Wednesday morning — ahead of the Aug. 28 primary. Gillum’s four main rivals are outspending him in TV ads, and he is running in third or fourth place, according to most recent polls.

Recent polling indicated that Gillum is trailing behind former Rep. Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Orlando-area businessman Chris King and Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene.

Gillum is easily the most charismatic politician in the field, according to TampaBay.com. He offers a message that the Democratic base can get more energized with a candidate that looks like a large portion of the Democratic electorate, which is African American.

Andrew Gillum
CORRECTS IDENTIFICATION OF CHRIS KING AND ANDREW GILLUM – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, left, Businessman Chris King second from left, and U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, far right, listen to Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, second from right, speak during a gubernatorial debate ahead of the Democratic primary for governor on Monday, June 11, 2018, in Miramar, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, Pool)

“People do want to see themselves reflected. They’ll never believe that Gwen Graham, Philip Levine, Chris King or Jeff Greene will be a better representative of their interests than I will be,” Gillum said.

Gillum took his campaign to Sarasota barbershops on July 15.

“As the only African American in a race where Black voters could prove decisive, Gillum is trying to build a grassroots coalition that can power him to victory in the Aug. 28 primary,” Sarasota Herald Tribune reported.

Gillum has tried to position himself as the most progressive candidate in the race. He supports Medicare for all and wants to abolish the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).

At his Sarasota barbershop stops, Gillum drew Bernie supporters and activists from the local black community. At Phat Headz barber shop, Greg “Mookie” Buchanan said he likes that Gillum is “for helping the fellas get good jobs and trying to get their rights back.”

“He believes in second chances,” Buchanan said, referring to Gillum’s push to make it easier for ex-felons to get their voting rights restored. “That’s a big thing in the African-American community.”

Gillum emphasized economic issues, telling the crowd of 50 jammed into Phat Headz that “the wealthy are getting wealthier every day; working people are not getting their fair share.”

Sanders, who is considering another run for president, has increasingly endorsed liberals of color, Politico reported.

“Andrew has never backed down from a fight, including beating the NRA and standing up against xenophobic politicians,” Sanders tweeted Wednesday morning.