Thomas Kennedy: The real extremist running for Florida Governor - Florida Politics

Thomas Kennedy: The real extremist running for Florida Governor

Politics in America has become quite the spectacle recently. Florida, of course, has never been known for boring elections. Consider our last gubernatorial election, where former Republican Governor Charlie Crist ran as a Democrat against Republican Rick Scott, a millionaire who oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in the history of Florida (and is currently running for Senate).

Need I say more?

Yet Florida has not seen anything like the epic race pitting Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum against Rep. Ron DeSantis, both aspiring to become Governor. Gillum made history by becoming the first black nominee for Governor in the history of the state after beating four other candidates, all millionaires, while running a bold and progressive campaign. DeSantis defeated Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam after receiving Donald Trump’s endorsement in what was considered an upset by political observers.

Since the onset of the general election, Gillum has faced a barrage of smears from the Florida Republican Party and its allies claiming that he is a candidate too radical for the people of Florida. Republicans say that Gillum is out of step with the average Floridian.

That’s funny coming from a party that has held political power in Florida for two decades, with disastrous consequences for working-class families. Currently 45 percent of households in the state qualifying as working poor and struggle to afford basic necessities like health care, transportation and housing despite being employed. Meanwhile, Republicans in the state have underfunded public education, refused to expand Medicaid for as many as 1 million Floridians, and set up corporate slush funds that divert millions in taxpayer dollars to the same wealthy corporations who help fund their campaigns

In the current race for Governor, it is DeSantis who is the clear extremist. His reactionary political agenda is plain for all Floridians to see.

— He has not taken a stand on raising the abysmal $8.25 minimum wage in the state.

— He opposes gun policies that would prevent tragedies like the Parkland shooting and is proud of his NRA endorsement and the money that comes with it.

— He opposes a woman’s right to choose what happens to their bodies.

— He wants to criminalize undocumented immigrant families who contribute to the economy of Florida in an effort to make their lives as difficult as possible.

— He supports the privatization of prisons and has taken big sums of money from GEO Group, the largest for-profit prison company in Florida.

— He opposed imposing meaningful regulations on industries that are destroying our environment and questions if climate change is caused by humans despite overwhelming scientific evidence.

In stark contrast stands Gillum and his progressive agenda, yet his policy positions are hardly radical or extreme. In fact, they are in lockstep with a majority of Americans.

— Medicare for all? Supported by 70 percent of Americans.

— Assault weapons ban? Supported by 67 percent of Americans.

— Comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship? Supported by 63 percent of Americans.

— Legalizing marijuana? Supported by 61 percent of Americans.

— Raising the minimum wage? Supported by 51 percent of Americans.

— Restoring voting rights to people with prior felony convictions? Supported by 74 percent of Floridians.

I can keep going if I’d wanted to, but I think I’ve made my point.

Despite what political consultants and mainstream media outlets will tell you, people are hungry for change and support policies that will materially make their lives better. They are tired of having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet, and fearing that a health issue could potentially lead to financial ruin or even death due to lack of health care.

DeSantis is a radical who has tied his political fortunes to Donald Trump, one of the most corrupt and unpopular Presidents in modern American history.

I believe that come Nov. 6, Floridians will choose Gillum as the candidate that stands with them on a majority of the issues.


Thomas Kennedy is the Political Director for FLIC Votes and a communications fellow for the Center for Community Change Action. He tweets from @Tomaskenn.


  1. This is the best article ever written that contrasts the two candidates for Governor of Florida. It is factual in every statement.

    The Gillum camp would be wise to take this article and use it in every advertisement, every discussion, every debate and any other communications forum around the state.

  2. Excellent article. I love pieces like this that clearly enumerate the opposing candidates positions so. As long as you are a rational person, the clear choice is Gillum.

    1. Ray, I don’t think you would know a real socialist if one walked up and slapped you in the face. Look up the definition in the dictionary or Wikipedia. Gillum’s platform is not socialist just because he wants the government to do more for its citizens.

    2. Sir, falsely labeling people likely dooms you as extremist.

      What’s your evidence for calling people names/labeling?

      No evidence, YOU LOSE.

      1. Sir, falsely labeling people likely dooms you as extremist.

        What’s your evidence for calling people names/labeling?

        No evidence, YOU LOSE. [ps to Ed: NOT a Repeat. shame on you for threatening to delete]

    3. Oooh socialism! We’re going to be like Venezuela right? People like you the only defense they got is fear! Is time for a new governor in Florida and it’s Andrew Gillum!

  3. I feel like the audience that this piece has been geared towards, will respond in kind, as it goes in step with thier line of thinking. For objective people like me, I actually clicked all the links, cleverly disguised as unbiased poll research, for Gillum’s policies. Barring the marijuana poll, all of them were from left leaning sources, along with the tone of this article. This piece should be revised to be called, “I swear, I’m telling the truth here.” I want to thank you for attempting to be unbiased, I think, but you failed miserably as a journalist. Unless im wrong about the journalistic integrity aspect and this entire site leans, then I owe all of you an apology for exhibiting logic.

  4. We do NOT want a Socialist, Progressive Democrat (all the same, all are Socialists). Liberal politics is ruining California & Gillum will ruin Florida! Plus he took money from Soros & Steyer, so he sold his soul to Globalists!

    1. So, Floridians should vote for more Republican rule? No wage increase, underfunding public schools, ignoring the environment, let a million Floridians be without affordable healthcare, practice voter suppression by denying restoration of voting rights, support a big money prison system…really, more Republican rule???

    1. Dr3gec, obviously you are ok with all the lies and corruption that Trump, his family and his supporters have committed on an almost daily basis. The democrats are simply trying to exact some degree of oversight and accountability.

    2. But you’re fine with McConnell and Republicans dumping all over the Constitution, posting images of President Obama being hanged, Mrs. Obama being ridiculed and called names, republican-controlled Congress doing everything they possibly can to take money out of the average person’s pocket and give it to the very wealthy, a Republican party that wants to destroy the social safety net, including Medicare and Social Security, and every other horrible thing that Republicans did to block Obama’s agenda designed to helpthe average American citizen, right?

  5. Thomas Kennedy is an extremist which works to weaken our borders and change our culture. There is no surprise he thinks Gillum is a “middle the road candidate” and Ron DeSantis is an “extremist” and that’s because Mr Kennedy is a left wing radical.

    DeSantis is a lawyer, a US Navy veteran, a Christian and a limited government, free market conservative. On the other hand, Andrew Gillum is a radical, big government, pro higher taxes, anti business, open borders liberal who has received vast amounts of campaign cash from George Soros. A man who has publically supported and called for the creation of a one world government. Who as a youth, worked with Nazis to help identify Jews so they could have their property confiscated and be shipped off to their doom.

    Do we really want a person, who, as Mayor of Tallahassee, is currently under FBI investigation for corruption, who is going to raise taxes, expand government, wreck the economy. Did you also know that Gillum is funded by an anti-American, anti- Israel, one world government billionaire to. be the next governor of Florida? The answer is clearly NO!

    A vote for Gillum is a vote to financially destroy a state we deeply love and Care about. That’s why I support Ron DeSantis, because he is an honorable and decent person who loves our country, our state and it’s citizens.

    1. Scott and his Republican predecessors have already destroyed this state. They don’t call him Red Tide Rick for nothing. We need a governor who will turn around the current Administrations horrible Environmental policies before it’s too late! Furthermore, a good man would not make thinly-veiled racist comment like the current Republican candidate has done.

    2. Most of your statements are inaccurate. It always amazes me how outspoken the ignorant are. Stop spreading lies. I suggest you make a single statement at a time, then back it up with a legitimate source if you want to change someone’s mind.

  6. I highly suspect that there is a stream of Teapublican Money and Influence at work here, once again attempting to ‘strike fear and panic’ into the hearts of Floridians, just as they always do when elections come around. Rick Scott ‘bought’ the last two, by the way, because Democrats either threw up their hands, picked up their skirts and then fainted. They damned sure didn’t go to the voting booths. So, “Shelley Bayless”, “Dr3gec”, and “Greg Wiliams”, are out and about, doing “The Rump’s Work”, fawning and swooning at Ron DeSantis’s feet, and worshipping again at the Idol of Failed Teapublicanism. Congratulations! You’ve learned to Lie with the best of them.

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