Sanders-Backed Andrew Gillum Pulls Out Shocking Upset In Florida’s Democratic Gubernatorial Primary
By Nancy Lewis, Sunshine State News // August 29, 2018
(SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum didn’t just shock Florida, he shocked the nation Tuesday, scoring a major victory for the party’s progressive wing, putting himself in a position to become the state’s first black governor.
Gillum’s fortunes against wealthier, better funded opponents began to turn after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and a coalition of progressive groups threw their support and money behind him. Among them were liberal megadonors Tom Steyer and George Soros who donated $650,000 to his affiliated political action committee.
With 34.2 percent of the vote, Gillum upset the daughter of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, a former congresswoman herself. Gwen Graham, who led in the polls for most of the campaign, finished up with 31.3 percent. In all Gillum outlasted a field of four competitors. He was the only non-millionaire — and the only supporter of “Medicare for all” single-payer health care.
As Politico Florida wrote, Gillum was the only Democrat during the first debate who didn’t blame farmers and the sugar industry in particular for the current algae crisis in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. He spoke about the poor communities around the lake who would be affected by increased environmental regulations and less farming.
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