Progressives seek path to Governor’s Mansion
Jane Fonda. Alec Baldwin. Tom Steyer. George Soros. Norman Lear.
The star-studded endorsements Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has snagged in his quest to become Florida’s first black governor go on and on, capped by progressive patriarch U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.
But while the celebrity support may translate into desperately needed cash, Gillum’s also banking on ginning up excitement among folks he says Florida Democrats have ignored or taken for granted far too long.
“It hasn’t worked,” Gillum said in a recent telephone interview, referring to the party’s approach.
It’s a mantra Gillum — who cut his political teeth as Florida A&M University student-body president and, at 23, became the youngest person ever elected to the Tallahassee City Commission — repeats often on the debate stage and on the campaign trail.
Gillum, along with his four primary opponents, frequently note that Democrats have been shut out of the governor’s mansion for two decades.
And, even though he’s trailing in the polls and in fundraising while some of his opponents have blanketed airwaves and mailboxes leading up to the Aug. 28 primary election, Gillum insists that unabashedly leaning to the left is