Gillum’s victory is the third major victory for a black Democrat in a Democratic gubernatorial primary field in 2018, following on the heels of wins by former NAACP president Ben Jealous in Maryland earlier this year and state Rep. Stacey Abrams in Georgia. Gillum and Jealous both emerged from crowded primaries, while Abrams crushed fellow state legislator Stacey Evans, a white woman, in a one-on-one primary race.
None of that winning trio ran expressly as the “black” candidate in the field. (In Jealous’ case, his leading opponent — Rushern Baker — was also black.) And all three demonstrated an ability to win votes outside of the African-American base within the Democratic Party. But their victories serve as a reminder of how potent the black vote is within the current incarnation of the Democratic Party. And how the likes of Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) or former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick could benefit from that fact come 2020. CNN
Voters still love a powerful personal story
Gillum’s background was compelling to voters, and he spoke of it often on the campaign trail. Here’s the New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells on Gillum’s life story:
“Last Sunday, Gillum spoke at St. Ruth Missionary Baptist Church, in Dania Beach, Florida. I was in a pew near the back. Over six feet tall, with a shaved head and handsome, Gillum took the pulpit and told the congregation about his life. He was born poor, in Miami. His mother was a school-bus driver and his father was a construction laborer. He was the fifth of seven children, and the first to graduate from high school.”
In one of his only campaign ads, Gillum turns to the camera and asks: “What’s impossible? The son of a bus driver becoming mayor of the capital city? Is it impossible to come from nothing, be outspent 10-to-1 and win?” (In a longer digital-only ad, Gillum tells his personal story in a deeply compelling way.) CNN
Gillum response to opponent’s ‘monkey this up’ comment: DeSantis is ‘in the swamp’ with Trump
Andrew Gillum, the black Democratic nominee for governor in Florida, said Wednesday that it was “clear” his GOP rival “is going to join Donald Trump in the swamp” after Ron DeSantis said in a television interview that the state should not “monkey this up” by electing Gillum.
“We’re going to leave them there, and we continue to press toward a higher mark,” Gillum said yesterday on MSNBC’s “Meet The Press Daily.” NBC