Progressive coalition putting $3.5M into stretch run push for Andrew Gillum

Andrew Gillum op-ed 1.19

With the latest poll of the Democratic race for Governor indicating that Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is within six points of frontrunner Gwen Graham, a coalition of progressive groups announced Monday that they will commit $3.5 million to help Gillum get over the finish line.

The coalition, which intends to reach 3 million voters, includes Florida grassroots groups Dream Defenders Action, FLIC Votes, New Florida Majority, The New Florida Vision PAC, and Organize Florida.

Additionally, national groups (Center for Popular Democracy Action, The Collective PAC, Indivisible Action, NextGen America, Our Revolution, and People For the American Way) are engaged.

Many of these groups have backed Gillum before in the process, but the juice Gillum has shown in recent days (including a campaign swing with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders) led them to double down.

Almost three-quarters of a million dollars was spent by the Collective Super PAC to go negative on Gwen Graham. NextGen America likewise had committed a million dollars already, Gillum has also had a long-standing relationship with People for the American Way.

That said, the announcement Monday is a clear sign that the groups believe they are getting return on their investment, and will spend to help Gillum turn out young voters and increase his share with African-Americans, Latinos, and Puerto Ricans — keys for victory.

“Gillum’s years of public service and unapologetically progressive platform earned him the support of the coalition as he runs to become Florida’s first Black and youngest Governor in a Democratic field of otherwise extremely wealthy candidates,” asserts a media release.

For Gillum, who has not been able to keep up with Graham, Philip Levine, and Jeff Greene in spending for television ads, the support is crucial, even as he himself has noted it’s difficult to coordinate messages of outside groups.

“I try to be my own best messenger,” Gillum said in July, “and hope that they can pick up from kind of where I leave off, and frankly create ads and advertisements that use my voice and get my voice out there.”

“Obviously we don’t get to control what everyone else does. I’m learning more and more about what everybody’s doing as I read the news,” Gillum added.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



    August 20, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Gwen Graham has withstood her lead despite fortunes being spent against her. She has the best chance of withstanding the huge amount of money the Republicans are planning on spending

    • Tyler

      August 21, 2018 at 5:07 am

      She most certainly has. Gillum would be a disaster for our party. Moderates will either stay home or vote GOP. Wake up, people and back a winner! Gwen Graham for Governor!

    • Paula

      August 21, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      That’s because she has name recognition via her father, a former governor who was well loved. Negative advertising that hits her record on the environment will impact her lead. Let’s hope that Floridians will think about this state before they double down on party in some kind of hard-headed sense of loyalty.

    • Tony B

      August 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Andrew Gillum send to be the only one with the energy and strong progressive agenda to beat a republican in the general.

  • Denise Deja

    August 20, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    This is fantastic news! Andrew Gillum is the right candidate to bring Florida into the 21st Century and create the progressive state that we Floridians need! Congrats Andrew!

  • George Meegan

    August 21, 2018 at 10:00 am

    The problem with coalitions is they have to be made up of a majority greater than the opposition.
    I am a true believer of Coalition government, as it will soon be a majority with the 39 percent of the electorate being Independent. That third party has to coalesce with one or the other two major parties. Then it has to overcome the local electorate that may out number the statistical average of 39 percent, which is not present everyware but a national average.
    The monies are also relative to local majority as incumbents usually have made commitments to major businesses that have unlimited funds.
    Truely a national move to coalitions, but three parties are not enough, 6 or 7 parties will have to be present to break the hold of local incumbent parties.

  • Gardner

    August 21, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Democrats have had a moderate running for governor for the past 20 years. Doing the same thing and expecting different results does not make any sence. The Democratic base will come out and vote no matter who the Democratic nominee is but the black, brown, young and poor that do not vote because they are not inspired and feel it is the same old story, have stayed home. The candidate that will capture the hearts, minds and ultimately the votes of those that have not had a reason to vote before will vote now and win in November. Mr. Gillum brings that energy and passion.

    Take a page from the Trump play book. Republicans will vote for any Republican but Trump also got those hard core conservative, anti-Obama, anti-democrat or anything democrats stand for came out and voted. ..many of those folks have either never voted or have not voted in many years. They were “inspired” by Trump as being something different.

    If Mr. Gillum is not the Democratic nominee only those traditional democrats will vote. The black, brown, young & poor will stay home as usual. Also in my opinion, if Mr. Gillum is not on the ticket, Mr. Nelson will lose to Rick Scott. Graham, Levine or Greene will not get any votes for Mr. Nelson that Mr. Nelson can not get for himself. Retaining the Democratic senate seat and risk having 2 Republican US Senators is at stake.

  • Spiro

    August 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Graham is as “good” as Governor Sink or any of the other dinos the terrible Florida Dem Party as barfed up for us over the years….

  • John Doe

    August 22, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Graham will be a disaster. .and the GOP will retain the Governor’s mansion and Scott will defeat Nelson cause all the Blacks & Browns will stay home and be disengaged. Gillum is the only hope for winning the Governor’s mansion back. Levine is so fixated in being the antithesis of Trump I haven’t heard any platform. Greene is just in the race to do what he did against Kendrick Meek…sad case.

Comments are closed.


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