Florida’s Gillum gets money and attention after upset win
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has picked up cash and lots of attention in the aftermath of his surprising win in Florida’s primary.
Gillum is seeking to become Florida’s first black governor. He edged out several Democrats in this week’s primary, including former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham.
Gillum, 39, raised less than $7 million ahead of the primary, a total far less than the other main contenders. But on Wednesday, the Democratic Governors Association gave $1 million to Gillum’s political committee.
“We’re going to be wildly successful at getting more black voters, brown voters, young voters, poor voters, working class white voters to get out and vote for us,” Gillum said.
“I honestly believe that the nature of this moment — what’s happening at the national level — is fueling and will fuel a whole new segment of people who really want to see more decency, more respect, more humanity and also a brand of politics that says, ‘I see you, I hear you and we have a plan to make your life better.’”
The Democratic nominee is also getting plenty of exposure on national television and becoming quite popular on Twitter. Gillum’s campaign said that in the past 21 days he has gained 200,000 additional followers on Twitter. As of late Thursday, he had more than 241,000 followers.
Meanwhile, racism has already become an issue in the contest. Democrats have criticized Gillum’s Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, for saying Wednesday that the last thing “we need to do is monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting this state.”
Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson said during an interview Thursday with The Associated Press that the DeSantis’ comment was “clearly a race-based message.” He said voters should “take their anguish to the polls” in November.
Jackson also urged Floridians to focus on issues such as senior services, lower tuition for students, better wages and gender equality in a governor’s race.