Democratic candidate Mayor Andrew Gillum sets his sights on becoming Florida’s governor

(WSVN) - Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the Democratic nominee for governor. Now, the Miami native is hoping to make history in Florida. 7’s Joe Roetz has more about the candidate.

Democrat Andrew Gillum is campaigning hard to be Florida’s next governor as election day quickly approaches.

Andrew Gillum: “I’ve always been an underdog. I like that position. I’ve never lost a race since third grade, and I’m not trying to lose again.”

No stranger to the state capital, the Tallahassee mayor, who is also a husband and father of three, surprised many when he captured the Democratic nomination in August.

Now he’s playing off his experience.

Andrew Gillum: “Measure me by my record. I’m the mayor of the city that is the fastest growing economy in the state of Florida, per capita.”

The Miami native frequently touts himself as a non-millionaire and is pushing a much more progressive agenda than his conservative counterpart.

Andrew Gillum: “I believe that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege.”

Gillum’s campaign states, “A Medicare for all plan will help lower costs and expand coverage to more Floridians,” and promises to, “work to expand Medicaid and strengthen the Affordable Care Act.”

But on the trail, Gillum draws the line at being called a socialist.

Andrew Gillum: “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that we ought to expand Medicaid for over 800,000 of the most medically needy people and pull down $6 billion from the federal government in the process.”

On the Second Amendment and gun rights, Gillum recently campaigned in South Florida, making his stance clear following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre.

Andrew Gillum: “I don’t believe that it is extreme to say that if you want to shoot a gun that can fire off 60 bullets in 60 seconds, that you ought to join the military.”

On education, he proposes, “a $1 billion investment in our public schools, students and teachers to boost early childhood education, raise teachers’ starting salaries to $50,000, restore public school construction funds and increase SHOP 2.0 vocational training.”

Andrew Gillum: “Teachers ought to be paid what they’re worth.”

On the environment, he wants to convert Florida to cleaner energy.

Andrew Gillum: “We ought to recognize that global warming and climate change is a real thing.”

But one obstacle Gillum is forced to address as he campaigns is a multi-year FBI investigation into his city government — a corruption probe Republicans are poised to seize on.

“I am confident that I have done nothing wrong, nothing unethical and nothing illegal,” Gillum told the editorial boards of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post before he won the nomination. “If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be running this race.”

Gillum has potential to make history on election day.

If he wins, he would be Florida’s first black governor and its first Democratic governor in nearly 20 years.

Gillum and his opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis, face off in their first debate in Tampa, Sunday.

7’s Jeff Lennox will be there. Look for his live reports all afternoon and evening.

7News will profile Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, Thursday.


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