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Progressive Mayor Andrew Gillum Wins Historic Upset in Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Primary
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49007"><span class="small">Sophie Weiner, Splinter</span></a>   
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 08:11

Weiner writes: "Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum cruised to a completely unexpected primary victory Tuesday night to become the Democratic nominee for Florida governor."

Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum. (photo: AP)
Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum. (photo: AP)

ALSO SEE: Winners and Losers From the Arizona and Florida Primaries

Progressive Mayor Andrew Gillum Wins Historic Upset in Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

By Sophie Weiner, Splinter News

29 August 18


allahassee mayor Andrew Gillum cruised to a completely unexpected primary victory Tuesday night to become the Democratic nominee for Florida governor. If he wins the general in November, Gillum will become the first black governor of the state. Gillum will go up against Trump-supported Ron DeSantis, who won the Republican primary tonight over establishment pick Adam Putnam.

Gillum’s victory was thought to be a long shot; recent polling showed Democratic frontrunner Gwen Graham up by at least seven points. Gillum was greatly outspent by several of his opponents, including Miami Beach mayor Phillip Levine, who looks like he’s headed for a third-place finish.

During the campaign, Gillum labeled himself he “only non-millionaire” candidate, and spoke about reaching out to the working class. He was the only candidate supported by Bernie Sander’s political nonprofit Our Revolution and was endorsed by the senator. His platform includes support for Medicare for All, legalizing weed, banning employer discrimination against formerly incarcerated people (as he did in Tallahassee), restorative justice for teens, gun control, and abolishing ICE.

As a candidate, Gillum followed the same playbook that catapulted Bronx Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to her primary victory earlier this year. Rather than relying on conventional wisdom about appealing to centrist voters, he spent time motivating turnout of those who are often ignored by the establishment. The strategy seems to have worked—Democratic turnout for the election broke their previous 1.36 million record, with more than 1.4 million total votes.

“I don’t need a pollster to tell me what to believe in this race. I don’t need a set of message board points to tell me that people are hurting in my state. I know it because I’ve lived it,” Gillum told the Washington Post in June.

“There’s a whole section of people in my state who feel unreflected, unheard, unrepresented, and the things that they care about unrepresented,” Gillum told the Post. The campaign got a boost when it accepted $1 million from billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer in June.

Despite his progressive support, Gillum was also criticized for “dark money” contributions to his PAC, Forward Florida, for initially supporting a coal plant in 2005 as city commissioner (when he was 25), and his connections via a friend to a current FBI investigation into corruption in Tallahassee.

If Gillum wins in November, he’ll not only be the first black Florida governor, but the first Democrat elected to the office since Lawton Chiles over 20 years ago. In a race marked by the divergence of both parties from their establishment candidates, the campaign will surely be closely followed by politicians and voters on with their eyes on 2020.

“It’s my opinion that the way we are going to win [the general] is by nominating a candidate who has the ability to move more of our voters to the polls, more black voters, more brown voters, more young voters, more purple voters, more white voters, more working class voters,” Gillum said at a campaign rally last week, according to The Miami Herald. “That’s how we’re going to win.” your social media marketing partner


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+4 # pmargaret7 2018-08-29 08:57
Good going! I heard him on TV shortly after the Parkland shootings and was very impressed by him and thought then that he could be a bright spot for the Dems. But I don't hear anything in this report about his stance on guns - which seems like an important subject considering that Fla seems to be an epicenter of the scourge of gun violence! Anybody know anything about this?
+3 # Benign Observer 2018-08-29 11:01
He seems pretty progressive and has worked successfully against the NRA.
+5 # Benign Observer 2018-08-29 11:34
DeSantis ran as a Trump enthusiast while Sanders endorsed Gillum, so this could be a prequel to a possible 2020 matchup. Did it have to be FL though?!

Yes. Yes it did.

Gillum ran as a true progressive -- Medicare for All, abolish ICE, a $15 minimum wage, gun control, impeachment -- and beat establishment choice (and Emily's List-endorsed) Gwen Graham by 40,000 votes in a crowded field.

Take that, Emily's List and political consultants!

Establishment pundits are already tearing Gillum down, saying he's untested and unknown. Here's an idea -- give him half as much support as you gave Hillary.

I guess the DNC won't do much to help him either. We'll see.

Neither party wants to see progressives succeed. But our message is, by far, the most authentic and sensible, the most just and the one that most benefits the 99%.

We need to get the neoliberals out of the party. They've been a disaster. I'm convinced they're screwing up the 2018 election too, the same people who have lost a thousand seats since Obama was elected. Even faced with Trump, the country voted for that instead of Democrats -- yet the same people are in charge. How genius is that??

So let's not demand a blue tsunami. Not even a blue wave. What is the minimum success we need to achieve in November 2018 before we give progressives a chance to run things for a while?

Let's say this: if the Democrats don't take either chamber -- then Sanders takes over the party.
+2 # lfeuille 2018-08-29 20:26
Emily's List is proving itself to be not at all progressive on anything but choice. In races with 2 pro choice women running they seem to always pick the one closest to the establishment.
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-08-30 11:39
Yes, they have worked to sabotage several progressive candidates by surging support for establishment candidates at key points during the primaries. It's been a real eye opener.
0 # lfeuille 2018-08-29 20:28
"Let's say this: if the Democrats don't take either chamber -- then Sanders takes over the party."

If Dems. don't take over either chamber it will be too late for the party and the country. We will be going full fascist.
-1 # Benign Observer 2018-08-30 11:42
I understand what you're saying but I don't think it's ever too late. Things do indeed seem bleak. But the alternative is to submit -- and THAT is when they win.

I see too much potential in the millenials, who are very progressive.
+1 # MikeAF48 2018-08-29 14:27
Looks like people are waking up quickly in Florida. Lets keep that Blue Wave going. Getting ready for the midterm elections. We all half to take more time out for Democracy.
-2 # DongiC 2018-08-30 02:29
Feel those vibrations, those tremblings in the political landscape? There is a political earthquake coming. Ocasio Cortez in New York and, now Andrew Gillum in Fla. What is propelling these Progressives? Things like eliminate ICE, $15 minimum wage, health care for all, aid ro Education at the college and graduate school levels, Sander's endorsement. My God! It's another New Deal. All we need is another FDR. How about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren?
0 # Benign Observer 2018-08-30 11:48
If only the Democratic Party leadership agreed with you.

Chuck Schumer just agreed to expedite the confirmation of 15 Trump-nominated federal judges so that his caucus can go home to campaign for November. He doesn't realize that when they do things like that it makes campaigning irrelevant.

Generic Democrats had a 15 point lead six months ago. Now it is single digits. I don't even think they can take back the House with how badly they've mismanaged the reaction to Trump.