Tallahassee Mayor is seen as the most knowledgeable and inclusive candidate to carry the concerns of Florida’s working class and communities of color into the state’s top post.
June 12 – The New Florida Majority (NewFM), a c4 racial justice organization dedicated to expanding democracy and restoring justice, enthusiastically announced Tuesday their endorsement of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running to become the Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida.
The organization’s Ad Hoc Committee for Political Endorsements delivered its decision to the NewFM board just hours after Gillum and his fellow Democratic primary candidates participated in the Florida Freedom Forum Gubernatorial Debate in Miramar, in front of a packed audience of over 800 people. Tuesday morning, the board unanimously ratified the committee’s recommendation to endorse Mayor Gillum.
“We looked at the candidates, their answers to our survey and their performance at tonight’s debate and determined that Andrew Gillum is the leader Florida needs to guide the state towards a more equitable future,” said NewFM Executive Director Andrea Mercado. “His performance today and his campaign so far has proven that he is willing to be bold and unapologetic in standing up for our communities.”
Gillum was the clear favorite among the Spanish and English speaking New Florida Majority endorsement committee who assembled Monday night. Candidates fielded questions on issues that reflected the concerns of the diverse audience that assembled at the Miramar Cultural Center. Those concerns included affordable housing, gun violence, criminal justice reform, education, immigration, climate change, and an economy that supports working class Floridians.
Members of NewFM were impressed by Gillum’s knowledge of the issues and his ability to communicate his expertise in an inclusive way.
“I think we all thought that Mayor Gillum responded the best and showed a deep understanding of politics and the problems of Florida,”said Claudia Toboada of Broward.
“Gillum is the candidate that showed a deeper understanding of the life of working class people and marginalized communities,” said Andres Leon from Miami. “Now we need to organize our communities to get him into office.”
“His answers were the most clear, sharp and concise out of all the candidates present in the debate,” said Dario Zapata, from Broward. “He had a way of connecting with the audience that is very important for a campaign.”
Od’Juan Whitfield from Jacksonville agreed that Mayor Gillum was the clear winner Monday evening and should be NewFM’s choice for Governor. “He spoke directly to the people, which made him easy to relate to,” said Whitfield. “I was impressed.”
Walking away from the debate, several members were already eager to hit the streets and mobilize community members to vote for Gillum in the August primary. Close to 13 million people are currently registered in Florida, including 4.8 million registered Democrats, 4.6 million Republicans and 3.5 million No Party Affiliation (NPA). While 75% of all registered voters came out for the 2016 elections, only 51% came out in the 2014 midterm elections that saw incumbent Gov. Rick Scott beat former Gov. Charlie Crist by one percent or 64,145 folks.
Key important dates in the upcoming electoral cycle include:
Registration Deadline to Vote in the August Primary: July 30, 2018
Early Voting Period for the August Primary: August 18 – August 25, 2018
August Election Day: August 28, 2018
Registration Deadline to Vote in the November Elections: October 9, 2018
Early Voting Period for the November Election: October 27 – November 3, 2018
November Election Day: November 6, 2018