Gillum is suddenly a political rock star
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is picking 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 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.
The 39-year-old 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.
Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson is urging Floridians to focus on issues such as senior services, lower tuition for students, better wages and gender equality in a governor’s race that quickly heated up the day after the state’s primary.
Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Ron DeSantis assailed Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, during a television interview Wednesday that critics denounced as racist. Gillum is seeking to become the state’s first black governor. DeSantis said 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.”
In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Jackson said DeSantis’ comment was “clearly a race-based message.”
He said voters should “take their anguish to the polls” in November.
Florida’s high-stakes race for governor has quickly become heated and personal, signaling that the next 10 weeks of campaigning until the general election could get ugly.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a far-left Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Republican loyal to President Donald Trump, pulled off surprising primary victories Tuesday. Each is vying to succeed term-limited Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for the U.S. Senate.
DeSantis assailed Gillum in a Wednesday TV appearance that critics denounced as racist. Trump also weighed in on the race by calling Gillum a “failed socialist mayor” on Twitter.
Gillum, who is seeking to become the state’s first black governor, responded by decrying what he called the “gutter politics” of DeSantis — what he calls the echo of Trump’s influence on American politics.
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