Andrew Gillum Surprise Nomination For FL Governor Sets Tone For November Elections

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Written by Dana Sanchez
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Andrew Gillum holds his son, Davis, as he addresses his supporters after winning the Democrat primary for governor on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, won the Democratic nomination for Florida governor on Tuesday against much better-funded opponents in a stunning primary victory.

Lagging in third or fourth place in recent polls, things started looking up for Gillum, 39, after he secured a Bernie Sanders endorsement earlier this month.

A surge of liberal support from African Americans and young people is credited for Gillum’s success in the primaries. If he wins in November, Gillum will be the first Black governor in Florida’s history.

During a GHOGH podcast, Gillum said that he doesn’t look anything like the past five losing Democratic nominees for Florida governor:

“In this state, the … Black vote in the Democratic primary might represent about 30 percent of the electorate. Yet we’ve never had (a Black nominee). I mean, it is stunning and, and they will put up insurmountable barriers … to keep a candidate like me from being able to get out there and to really truly compete. It’s all because they are addicted to a playbook. They’ve got a typograph of what our nominees are supposed to look like, sound like, where they are supposed to come from, what the pedigree of their family is supposed to be. And I will admit happily that I don’t fit that profile, but that profile has been losing in the state of Florida for 20 years. Five consecutive elections for governor, we lost, right?”

In November, Gillum will have to beat his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump.

Gillum has been saying for months that he would love to take on DeSantis, Miami Herald reported.

“Trump and Ron DeSantis are both scraping from the bottom of the barrel,” Gillum said Wednesday on CNN. “I believe that Florida and its rich diversity are going to be looking for a governor who’s going to bring us together, not divide us. Not misogynist, not racist, not bigots. They’re going to be looking for a governor who’s going to appeal to our higher aspirations as a state, who’s going to talk about what it means to build a Florida that makes room for all of us, and not just some of us.”

Setting himself apart as the only “non-millionaire” in the race, Gillum presented as a champion of lower and middle-class Floridians. His progressive agenda includes supporting a $15-an-hour minimum wage and Medicare for all. He opposes Stand Your Ground, the self-defense law that was again invoked last month when an unarmed man, Markeis McGlockton, was shot in a parking space dispute.

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U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, left, gestures as he stands with Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum during a campaign stop for Gillum Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Florida voters are famous for deciding their candidate preferences at the last minute, Miami Herald reported:

“Supporters at Gillum’s noisy victory party cheered deafeningly and hugged each other as the gap in votes between Gillum and (former U.S. Rep. Gwen) Graham began to narrow shortly after 8 p.m., as polls closed in the western Panhandle.”

A Miami native, Gillum won by more than a 2-to-1 margin in Miami-Dade and Broward, the state’s two largest Democratic counties, beating Graham in the highest turnout for a midterm primary election in Florida history, Miami Herald reported.

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Andrew Gillum supporters celebrate his winning the Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Gillum discussed the DNC taking the Black vote for granted, its silence on the killing of 60 Palestinian protestors, and whether big tech and Silicon Valley elites can be regulated at the state level during a GHOGH podcast with Jamarlin Martin.

Listen to the Gillum interview on the GHOGH podcast, and check out other GHOGH podcasts here.

 


About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on Moguldom.com for Nubai Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.