It took a few days to get the two on the same page, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Monday agreed on a time, date and place to debate on sanctuary cities.
The debate will be held Feb. 13 at the Tallahassee studios of Florida Internet and Television and will be moderated by Associated Press reporter Gary Fineout and Troy Kinsey, the capitol reporter for television station Bay News 9.
The idea for the debate was sparked after Corcoran’s political committee spent nearly $1 million on a controversial television ad that suggests undocumented immigrants are a danger to “any family, anywhere.” Gillum was quick to call the ad a “race-baiting” tactic.
“Speaker Corcoran finally agreed to defend his ‘racist’ and ‘fear mongering’ TV ad in a live debate against (Tallahassee) Mayor Gillum, the most outspoken critic of the ad and the most progressive candidate for Florida Governor,” said Geoff Burgan, Gillum’s communications director.
Corcoran has not yet announced his candidacy, but has been flirting with the idea of entering the governor’s race for months and the ad is making it clearer than ever that he plans to do so once the 2018 Legislative Session is over.
This year, Corcoran has prioritized legislation that would punish local officials who do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities with hefty fines or removal from office.
The bill passed the Florida House on week one of Session, but that bill is likely dead in the Senate.
Note: There are currently no sanctuary cities in the state of Florida.