Andrew Gillum makes history in Florida

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum on Tuesday became Florida's first African-American nominee for governor, as ...

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 11:10 AM
Updated: Aug 29, 2018 11:10 AM

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum on Tuesday became Florida's first African-American nominee for governor, as he notched a major victory for progressives in the state and around the country.

An early underdog in a crowded field, the 39-year-old upset the Florida political establishment with the support of grass-roots Florida progressives and a coalition of groups like the Collective PAC, which is dedicated to elevating African-American candidates, Indivisible, an organization formed in response to President Donald Trump's election in 2016, and the Working Families Party.

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"The job of the governor of the state of Florida is to do what is in the best interest of the people of the state of Florida," Gillum said on Tuesday night. "I look forward to being that governor because I know that beneath my name is also a desire by the majority of people in this state to see real criminal justice reform take hold in the state of Florida."

One of seven siblings from a working-class family, Gillum became the mayor of Tallahassee in 2014 after previously being the youngest person elected to its city commission. Last year, he made headlines by defeating the National Rifle Association, which had sued the city over an ordinance that outlawed firearm use in public parks.

The victory, he wrote at the time, "means the next time (the NRA comes) after another community with a lawsuit, precedent will be on our side, and they'll have to think twice." Gillum has called on the man he is hoping to replace, outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott, to suspend the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" gun law, and he supports a ban on assault weapons.

He was the only leading Democrat in his primary to endorse "Medicare-for-all" single-payer health care, a top progressive agenda item and the policy most famously championed by Vermont's independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who endorsed and campaigned for Gillum in Florida earlier this month.

"No one person can take on the economic and political elites on their own," Sanders said in a statement after the race was called. "Tonight, Floridians joined Andrew in standing up and demanding change in their community. That's what the political revolution is all about and Andrew Gillum is helping to lead it."

Like Sanders, Gillum has kept his criticism of President Donald Trump at a relative low boil, instead focusing -- while urging others to follow suit -- on issues that could bring new voters out to the polls.

"I didn't talk a whole bunch about Trump as I moved around the state," Gillum told CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday. "We all know that the President is uniquely unqualified for the position that he holds. He is dangerous to himself and to the country, in my opinion."

What people wanted to know, he added, "is what are you going to do for me and how do you make sure that I can work one job instead of multiple jobs as a way to make ends meet?"

In the interview, Gillum played down the historical nature of his win -- and the potential for another milestone in November, when he could become the state's first African-American governor.

But former state Sen. Dwight Bullard, the political director for New Florida Vision PAC, hailed Gillum's victory in the context of an increasingly diverse progressive movement.

"Black voters, other voters of color, and progressives can claim this victory as theirs," he said in a statement. "Together, we made history. Gillum's victory shows that we can no longer be ignored or taken for granted. We're stepping into the process and we're demanding more."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93556

Reported Deaths: 2810
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6974155
DeSoto541155
Harrison373272
Jackson338867
Madison320886
Rankin319075
Lee260667
Jones242078
Forrest239070
Washington217971
Lafayette208439
Lauderdale1999124
Bolivar179465
Oktibbeha175050
Lamar163134
Neshoba1536103
Panola144027
Sunflower141744
Lowndes139957
Warren138150
Leflore136980
Pontotoc123416
Pike121248
Monroe118865
Scott116425
Copiah116233
Coahoma112327
Holmes109258
Marshall107615
Lincoln106753
Grenada106135
Yazoo103829
Simpson101143
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91936
Wayne87721
Pearl River86550
Marion84133
Prentiss81117
Covington80522
Alcorn77311
Itawamba76221
Newton75723
Tallahatchie75418
George74913
Winston72419
Tishomingo65837
Chickasaw65524
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57817
Hancock56121
Jasper55415
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52314
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45520
Claiborne45216
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41714
Perry40718
Quitman3745
Humphreys37315
Stone35511
Greene34517
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Carroll31212
Amite31110
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2429
Benton2191
Franklin1893
Choctaw1795
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131405

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19015337
Mobile13066289
Montgomery8674173
Madison758375
Tuscaloosa7240114
Lee571359
Shelby568450
Baldwin506149
Marshall383543
Etowah335547
Calhoun333839
Morgan319726
Houston270822
Elmore254947
DeKalb235519
St. Clair223435
Walker222680
Talladega206926
Limestone199519
Cullman184517
Dallas174826
Franklin174328
Russell17132
Autauga169024
Lauderdale164633
Colbert160626
Escambia156225
Blount155114
Jackson150611
Chilton148527
Dale133043
Covington130927
Coffee12778
Pike11559
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113042
Clarke104917
Marion94228
Butler90938
Barbour8357
Winston70912
Marengo69919
Lowndes64827
Pickens63514
Bibb63210
Hale61528
Randolph60812
Bullock58714
Lawrence58520
Monroe5758
Geneva5724
Cherokee56516
Washington54613
Clay5427
Perry5376
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52331
Macon47720
Henry4724
Fayette4219
Sumter41819
Lamar3462
Choctaw34512
Cleburne3236
Greene30015
Coosa1643
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