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

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

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.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.