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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.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
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