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Billionaire Tom Steyer to donate another $2 million to Andrew Gillum in Florida governor's race

Billionaire philanthropist turned political activist Tom Steyer has already made a big investment in the...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 10:45 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 10:45 AM

Billionaire philanthropist turned political activist Tom Steyer has already made a big investment in the 2018 election, but in the closing days of the campaign, Steyer has picked his favorite candidate and is pulling out all the stops.

Steyer is personally donating $2 million to Andrew Gillum's "Forward Florida" political action committee, which is aligned with the Gillum campaign. Through his organization, "Need to Impeach," he is directing a massive direct mail pitch to 300,000 Florida voters that have signed up to support his effort to impeach President Donald Trump. The mail piece makes specific reference to Gillum's support of impeachment.

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Another organization funded by Steyer, NextGen America, has already spent more than $5 million on efforts to get Gillum elected.

"If you were going to choose a single race that has the most national significance, it would be the governor's race in Florida," Steyer said.

Gillum is running against former Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis and the race will be one of the closely watched contests in November since DeSantis has tied himself to President Donald Trump and defeated more establishment Republicans. Gillum, meanwhile, would become the state's first black governor, and has the backing of progressives like Bernie Sanders.

He went on to say Gillum, in particular, is a special candidate, and that "here you have a young African American that is straightforward on education, good on climate, took on the NRA, straightforward on healthcare, has talked a lot about justice and the criminal justice system and supports impeaching the President. "

Gillum has not been shy in his call for Trump's impeachment. He proudly stated during the Democratic primary that he was the only candidates who had the "courage" to support that concept and used it to show how he would stand up to the Trump administration if he becomes governor.

While that played well in the Democratic primary, Gillum's general election opponent DeSantis, has used that position as one of many examples to show that the Democrat is outside mainstream.

"We need a governor that is going to work constructively with the Trump administration to advance Florida's priorities" DeSantis told CNN in September. "You know Andrew wants to impeach President Trump, about what? I don't know."

Steyer doesn't believe that tying Gillum to impeachment will hurt him with moderate and Independent voters. He also argues that it is not an issue that motivates Republicans either.

"We looked at 5,000 Republican ads and not one of them mentioned impeachment. So, if you want to know if it is a hot-button issue (for Republicans), it isn't," said Steyer.

Instead young and minority voters who traditionally stay home during midterm elections will be motivated to support Gillum because he has been so vocal about impeachment, Steyer argued.

"Andrew Gillum is straightforward and speaks the truth and that is why I think we got such a big turnout in the primary and why we will have an even bigger turnout in November," he said.

The DeSantis campaign did not respond to CNN's request for comment on Steyer's contribution.

CNN will host a debate between DeSantis and Gillum Sunday, October 21, at 8p.m. ET/7 p.m.

Correction: This story has been updated to correctly reflect that Steyer is donating $2 million to Gillum's political action committee.

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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