Andrew Gillum Wins Major Upset in Florida Dem Gov Primary
TALLAHASSEE, FL – August 29, 2018
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a progressive aligned with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won the primary with 34 percent of the vote, the Associated Press projected with 87 percent of precincts reporting. Graham, the daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), won 32 percent of the vote.
Most recent public polls showed Gillum in third place, trailing Graham and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine for the Democratic nod to replace Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).
Gillum lagged in fundraising and was slow to launch television ads in a state where such spots have traditionally been highly valued by political campaigns.
But in the final weeks before Tuesday's primary, Gillum won the endorsement of Sanders, who campaigned alongside the Tallahassee mayor in Tampa and Orlando.
Gillum also connected a number of stellar people to his campaign, including Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who rose to fame during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
And he earned a number of high-profile celebrity endorsements, from actor Alec Baldwin to Jane Fonda, receiving financial support from the democratic mega-donors Tom Steyer and George Soros.
Like Ocasio-Cortez, Gillum run as an unabashed progressive.
The 39-year-old mayor fashioned himself as a progressive in the vein of Sanders, preaching the virtues of “Medicare for All” and a $15-per-hour minimum wage on the campaign trail, beating the gun lobby in court to protect commonsense reform and standing up to President Trump and Governor Rick Scott to defend immigrants.
Gillum, however, endorsed Hillary Clinton weeks ahead of the state’s 2016 presidential primary. Clinton went on to win the state handily over Sanders.
Gillum will face off against Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in the gubernatorial election in November, pitting a progressive against a hardline conservative backed by President Trump.