Andrew Gillum could be Florida’s first Black governor

first_imgAndrew Gillum…could be Florida’s first African American Governor BY Garth A. Rose“Lordie, Lordie, I think this young man is another Barack Obama in the making,” Miranda Locksley, a resident of the City of Tallahassee, commented as she referred to that city’s Mayor Andrew Gillum who could be Florida’s next, and first African-American, governor.Some tout him as Florida’s next, and first African-American, governor. He officially launched his bid Wednesday.Gillum, 37, debuted in Florida politics when at age-23 he was elected to the Tallahassee city commission. In 2014, at age 34, he was elected mayor. Now, Gillum, plans to justify his description as a “rising star” in Florida’s Democratic Party by seeking to create history as Florida’s first African-American Governor to succeed incumbent Governor Rick Scott who terms out as governor next year.Gillum was born in Richmond Heights in South Miami Dade in 1979.  After attending the Frank C. Martin Elementary School, his family relocated to Gainesville. He    later attended Florida A &M University (FAMU). There, he made history as the first student member of FAMU’s Board of Trustees. In 2003, he was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation as the “Emerging Leader for 2003.” He justified the award when that year he was elected to Tallahassee’s city commission even before  graduating from FAMU.Although the Democratic primaries for Florida Governor isn’t until August 2018, Gillum is highly touted to prevail. Following Miami politician Daryl Jones in 2002, Gillum is only the second African-American to run for governor in Florida.One of the first South Florida officials to endorse Gillum’s bid for governor is Broward Commissioner Dale Holness who first met Gillum in 2004.“From that time, I recognized in Andrew Gillum an unusually gifted politician who genuinely represents the interest of Floridians. I  recognized his integrity, energy, positive thinking and dedication to astute political leadership, and commitment to job creation, providing affordable healthcare, and improving the local economy. As mayor, he showed remarkable initiative in stimulating Tallahassee’s economy by refunding utility deposits to residents thus enhancing their purchasing power. I genuinely believe Andrew Gillum is qualified to be Florida’s next governor.”Within days of declaring his bid for governor, Gillum raised $1 million towards his campaign.In 2008 and 2012 Democrats candidates Alex Sink and Charlie Crist respectively, lost agonizingly close elections to Scott.  Several Democrats in Central and South Florida believe Gillum has the potential to excite a huge Democratic voter turnout next year, giving the party a real chance of electing the first Democratic governor since Governor Lawton Chiles’ election in 1991. and reelection in 1994.last_img

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