U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is coming to Florida to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum.
The Gillum campaign announced late Tuesday that the Senator from Vermont will join Gillum at two rallies on Friday — less than two weeks away from the Aug. 28 primary.
The first of the rallies is set to take place in Tampa, where Sanders and Gillum will speak to voters at 11 a.m. in Armature Works — Gathering Room. In the afternoon, the two will head to Orlando for a 2 p.m. rally at the CFE Arena at UCF.
Sanders endorsed Gillum at the beginning of the month, christening him as the progressive option for Florida voters.
“As governor, Andrew Gillum will work to provide health care for all through a Medicare-for-All program, raise the minimum wage to a living wage, invest in sustainable energy, improve education, make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and be welcoming to immigrants,” Sanders said then.
With respect to the Democratic field, Gillum faces former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, billionaire investor Jeff Greene, former Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine and Orlando businessman Chris King. Most recent polls have shown Gillum trailing Graham, Levine, and Greene, though a large swath of likely Democratic voters still haven’t picked their candidate yet, according to the same polls.
Whether a rally could give the Tallahassee Mayor the much-needed boost is unknown.
On the Republican side, candidates Adam Putnam, the Agriculture Commissioner, and Ron DeSantis, the Congressman from Ponte Vedra, were “virtually tied,” according to a Florida Chamber poll in July.
But that was before President Donald Trump endorsed DeSantis on Twitter (for the second time) and came to Tampa to rally on the Congressman’s behalf. Now DeSantis appears to be firmly in the lead in the Republican primary.
Trump, however, is battle-tested against Florida’s electorate. He captured 45 percent of the party’s vote in the Republican primary in 2016. Sanders, in the same primary, lost to Hillary Clinton, who captured more than 64 percent of Democratic votes.