Andrew Gillum spends his Sunday at seven black churches
Andrew Gillum at The Bethel Church.

Gillum Bethel

Andrew Gillum visited seven different black churches this Sunday, putting the political power of prayer to the test as the Aug. 28 Democratic primary draws near.

Traveling Miami-Dade County alongside state Sen. Annette Taddeo, Gillum made stops at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church Baptist Church, The Bethel Church in Miami, Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, Martin Memorial Church and Cathedral of Praise in Miami and at Second Baptist Church in Richmond Heights.

The Tallahassee mayor noted he was baptized at The Bethel Church, and his mother Frances Gillum sat in the pews today at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist.

“This is life coming full circle for me as we continue on this journey,” he wrote on Twitter.

Along the way, of course, Gillum and Taddeo posted pictures of themselves with community leaders including Apostle Carlos Malone, Rev. Robert Brooks, Pastor Kay Dawson, Rev. Anthony Reed and Pastor Theo Johnson.

After a day of congregating, Gillum also met with voters at a meet-and-greet in Overtown. He tossed a few good words in online for Taddeo, a Miami Democrat who last year won a special election in Senate District 40 and now is running for re-election.

Of course, the tour also showed perhaps the clearest path to the gubernatorial mansion for Gillum, who would become Florida’s first black governor if elected.

Black voters make up 29 percent of registered Democrats in Florida, retired University of South Florida professor Susan Macmanus told the Sun-Sentinel in June.

Additionally, of the nearly 4.8 million Democrats currently registered in Florida, almost 582,000 live in Miami-Dade County, helping make South Florida an important place to win over during a Democratic primary and a critical area to inspire high turnout for Democrats come November.

Since the Democratic primary for governor includes five major candidates—Gillum, Gwen Graham, Jeff Greene, Chris King and Philip Levine—winning over black voters could make a big difference in taking a plurality of Democrats on Aug. 28 to secure the party nomination.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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