Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who looks very much like a candidate for Florida Governor in 2018, will be in Jacksonville Wednesday afternoon.
The topic of what is being billed as “intimate roundtables” by local Democratic organizers sounds like what one might hear from a statewide candidate also.
Gillum will discuss his “vision for the great state of Florida,” with “regard to specific issues relevant to young professionals.”
The firsr event runs from 4:30 to 5:30 on Wednesday afternoon at “Spliff’s Gastropub.”
A second “intimate roundtable” follows at 6:00 p.m, at the “Urban Oasis in Historic Springfield.”
Jacksonville is not, in terms of recent history, a major priority for Democratic candidates running statewide.
In 2014, Charlie Crist did very little in Northeast Florida in either the primary or the general elections.
In 2016, while Alan Grayson made plays in the local market, Patrick Murphy‘s visits to Northeast Florida were few and far between both before and after the primary.
The 2018 race for Florida Governor will be different, as Jacksonville is the second-most major market in the state without a potential local favorite.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine would seem to have homefield advantage in South Florida. The same holds true for Bob Buckhorn in Tampa.
In this context, getting traction in Northeast Florida can potentially loom large, especially in a primary likely to be crowded with well-funded, qualified candidates.
Gillum has visited Jacksonville before, of course, including remarks in 2015 on topics like restorative justice and the Ban the Box movement.
But every visit going forward necessarily will be viewed in the context of retail politics.