Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has won the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida, scoring a major victory for the party’s progressive wing while taking another step toward becoming the state’s first black chief executive.
Backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and progressive groups, Gillum outlasted a field of five competitive candidates, in which he was the only non-millionaire — and only supporter of “Medicare for all” single-payer health care.
Democrats in the race, including billionaire Jeff Greene and the wealthy former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, spent more than $100 million trying to win the governor’s mansion, which has been in Republican hands for two decades. Gillum got a late boost when liberal megadonors Tom Steyer and George Soros led a group that donated $650,000 to his political action committee.
Then progressive groups banded together to invest an additional $3.5 million in get out the vote efforts supporting Gillum, who campaigned as a critic of the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” gun law, which he said at a protest earlier this month “has no place in a civilized society.”
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