Andrew Gillum’s Surprise Win in Florida Is a Huge Deal

The liberal Democrat would also be the state’s first-ever black governor.

Monica Herndon/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMA Wire

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Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is one step closer to being the first African American governor in Florida history. Although the Democrat, a favorite of progressives, trailed by double digits for much of the race and never led a single poll, he rode a late surge to edge out Rep. Gwen Graham in Tuesday’s primary.

Gillum will face Trump-loving Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis in what is shaping up to be one of this fall’s marquee races. Only two African Americans have ever won a gubernatorial election, but Gillum, along with fellow Democrats Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Ben Jealous of Maryland, have a chance this year to change that.

In a purple state carried by Trump, Gillum ran an unabashedly liberal campaign, calling for Medicare-for-all and a $15 minimum wage, while touting his legal fight against gun lobbyists. He won the campaign in the final weeks with messages like this:

For more on Gillum’s campaign and how he pulled it off, check out Darren Sands’ recent profile in Buzzfeed News.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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