Andrew Gillum packs house in, um, Palatka?
Andrew Gillum speaks to crowd in Palatka.

Andrew Gillum speaks to crowd in Palatka

Andrew Gillum says he continues to find love in the strangest of places.

On Sunday, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate packed an auditorium in Palataka, a town of 10,000 in a county where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump won by 36 percentage points.

“This enthusiasm and energy for Mayor Gillum and his message of fighting for all Floridians is historic,” said Gillum communications director Johanna Cervone.

“Today’s event in Palatka is another example of this campaign’s momentum and a reminder that Floridians are ready to elect a leader who will put Florida first. We’ll continue to bring this message to every corner of the state for the next 38 days because the only poll that matters is on Election Day.”

Of course, Gillum in his kickoff speech in Orlando earlier this month shared a story of going to The Villages and finding a larger-than-expected crowd of 500 supporters showed up. That event, he said, turned from a small meet-and-greet to a small-donation fundraiser raking in more than $6,000 in an afternoon—all in one of the strongest GOP strongholds in Florida.

The Democrat also found polling accolades from odd parties as well. The Florida Chamber of Commerce, which this week endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, just made public a poll showing Gillum with a 6-point lead in the contest.

That’s consistent with other polling. RealClearPolitics’ composite index on the race shows the Democrat with a 4.5-point lead in the race, and every poll released since the Aug. 28 primary shows Gill ahead by 2 to 9 points.

The Gillum campaign today quickly sent out a release touting the size of Palatka crowd for the Democrat.

That stands in rather stark contrast to a Florida Democratic Party press release taunting DeSantis for drawing only a small crowd to church in Kissimmee in advance of the Republican Party of Florida’s 2018 Victory Dinner.

And the crowds continue to reinforce the message Gillum has unified the base around his organized campaign while DeSantis struggled to build momentum leading to the Nov. 6 general election.

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].


  • Dennis Coates

    September 30, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Terrorist pig

    • Carol S Milton

      September 30, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Great article. Palatka is my home town, and I’m excited to see that Andrew Gillum took the time to visit. His platform is exactly what Florida needs.

      • James Welch

        September 30, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        Not now, not ever. Socialism goes hand and hand with Communism. I fought them both for 20 years, I’m not about to accept them now.

        • Alfred Jordan

          October 1, 2018 at 12:17 am

          Like you even know what Socialism or Communism are! Where did you fight Socialism? Denmark? Canada?

          • Matthew Kopka

            October 1, 2018 at 4:53 am

            Such people usually don’t have much sense of these things. But they sure like their social security–and need their Medicare–when the time comes. And socialism for the military and corporate welfare seem to be just fine with them, too. They’d rather spout the hackneyed cliches than dig into the hard realities. The truth is that things would be so much better for THEM if we had affordable housing, living wages, health care, or truly free higher education, and these would cost a tiny fraction of a military budget that serves not us but the rich. . . their ignorance does not look too blissful when you look at the lives they are forced to lead.

          • Carol

            October 1, 2018 at 8:36 pm

            Thank you Alfred; those who spout ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’’ really should read a book…get away from the ignorance of Fox News.

        • Ray Tampa

          October 1, 2018 at 5:20 am

          Sir, your statement suggests that you may have rendered service to the country as a veteran. If so, great. You’re appreciated. However, I ask, are you ok with the massive tax dollar giveaways to the wealthiest individuals and corporations in this country? Which label do you place on such a large shift of this country’s resources? Do you call it corporate greed? How about corporate welfare? What???

          Besides, many of the country’s wealthiest individuals didn’t ask for this windfall of cash. They didn’t feel the need for it. Nevertheless, our always scheming right-wing politicians know how that money recycles back to their campaigns.

          Sir, are you willing to fight against this type of foolishness when ordinary citizens can’t seem to get a break of any kind?

          • Donna

            October 2, 2018 at 6:35 pm

            Well said 👏

          • Sweedzel

            October 4, 2018 at 9:04 pm

            Great comments.

          • Keith

            October 8, 2018 at 5:51 am

            So So excited to hear more about this affordable housing and $10.00 pay raise and last but not least free health care AND FREE college. Wait?? Nothing is free unless you milk off the goverment and do not work or plan to. Sounds like a pretty well qualified Socialist!!??

        • Cleo

          October 1, 2018 at 5:39 am

          If you really knew what “socialism” means you would never equate it with “communism.” Otherwise you are calling Jesus Christ one of the first “communist”.

          • Keith

            October 8, 2018 at 5:58 am

            I have read the bible through and through several times. Did Jesus round up teachers and professors and all the politicians and slaughter them? No he did not. Jesus was all about loving thy neighbor unless the neighbor was vile or unclean.

        • Jorge Calderon

          October 1, 2018 at 9:29 am

          You’re a moron! Brianwashed by the new campaign from republicans “socialism” oooh so scared!

          • mike

            October 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

            it would be great to be like Venezuela and have healthcare like Cuba.

        • Michele Bijesse

          October 1, 2018 at 9:35 am

          Well, then forfeit your socialist security, since you don’t believe in it! Smh

          • Keith

            October 2, 2018 at 10:20 am

            Out of all the things to say this comment is the funniest… You want someone that has worked all there lives and Paid into Social Security to give it up? Come on?

        • Beth Nickerson

          October 1, 2018 at 9:43 am

          Alfred Jordan How old are you? You must be too young to remember real wars fought by American service men and woman who have made it possible for you to live in a country free of both Communism and Socialism. We are at war now! Open your eyes, take off your rose covered glasses and see the world not just your tiny corner. Open and read a history book!!!

        • Robert Brady

          October 5, 2018 at 6:54 am

          So u fought in our socialized armforces to end socialism ? Stick to Fox news, they’ll tell u what to think.

      • Barbara Donaldson

        October 1, 2018 at 11:31 am

        Is this the Carol who worked at FDLRS in Jasper? I worked at FDLRS Miccosukee.

      • Joan

        October 3, 2018 at 7:47 am

        Guess so…..SOCIALISM, FREE EVERYTHING FOR ALL. Read some history

    • Faith Hope

      September 30, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Awww Dennis you sound mad….

      • Tracy

        September 30, 2018 at 7:27 pm


      • Rick fifer

        September 30, 2018 at 9:45 pm

        LMAO. Go Gillum

    • Lynn

      October 1, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Meaning what? He wants Floridians to be safe and healthy. What is wrong with that?

    • Bonita Morales

      October 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Dennis Coats, why do you have to be so hateful?

    • Ellie

      October 5, 2018 at 2:02 pm


    • Pam

      October 10, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Hahahahahaa… Terrorist? Some people are afraid of comprehensive health care, living wages & better education. Very scary subjects, indeed.
      FL has had a Republican governor for 20 years. It’s time for a change.

      • Keith

        October 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

        California has all that free stuff that you deserve. You dont have to debate anyone out there.

  • Mary Stevens

    September 30, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Florida….don’t be fooled. He wants open borders, increased taxes, illegal immigrants, destruction of Confederate monuments, universal medical care. Wake up!!!!

    • Adam McAlmont

      September 30, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Mary, the only place Florida borders is Georgia. 😂

      • Will Beauford

        September 30, 2018 at 9:54 pm

        Lol she don’t want us to cross the state line. I love traveling to Florida and I try never to over stay my time.

      • Margaux

        October 1, 2018 at 1:12 am

        I’d say we have a few trolls here.

      • james bonilla

        October 1, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        increase corporate taxes,,stop saying half what if he gives medicare for rather have citizens have healthcare than corporations have tax breaks,,u wake up

    • ErikS

      September 30, 2018 at 11:49 pm

      Trump? Is that you?

    • Sheila Williams

      October 1, 2018 at 12:19 am

      Mary Stevens you are being fooled by listening to negative ad as such. Reasearch and get informed and what Candidate Gillium is about. Better yet, if you get the opportunity to meet him, ask the questions of concern.

    • Larry

      October 2, 2018 at 7:18 am

      Oh no, not universal Medicare care! That might kill millions.

    • Pam

      October 10, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      We don’t want open borders. Speak to Devin Nunes, Steve King & other Iowa Republican politicians who talk tough but their state depends on undocumented workers for the farms.
      Nothing you said is true. Don’t buy into the fear mongering.

  • James Brown

    September 30, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Soviet union under Lenin, Cambodia under pol Pot, China under mao, Cuba under Castro, California and Illinois under similar leaders who identify as Democrats. Florida under gillum. Some people will never learn, not even the hard way.

    • Rick Fifer

      September 30, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Yeah if California was its own country it would have liked the seventh largest economy on the planet. Guess what that would do to those poor Southern States that are so damn backwards. I had a lot of ancestors that fought in that war of southern rebellion and I hope to see everyone of those monuments removed from every town and Village across the South.

      • Marion

        September 30, 2018 at 11:22 pm

        “Poor Southern States”? Florida has the 17th or 16th greatest GDP in the world? Golly Rick, you sure sound like a hateful person, not to mention ignorant. Effeminate parasitical Pennsylvanians like yourself who ruin their own state only to relocate to ours in attempt to repeat the process is the real problem down here.

        • Pam

          October 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm

          High GDP, yet education is poorly funded. That shows where priotities are. Better education will attract businesses that pay higher wages. As Mr Trump said, “He likes uneducated people.” All authoritarian leaders try to suppress education.

      • Kat Krischild

        October 4, 2018 at 4:43 am

        Thank you, Rick. ❤️ I grew up in Palatka and love it dearly. But I’m a California Golden Girl now and am an equally devoted Berkeley-ite. I’m so happy that Gillum found welcome in Palatka! ❤️

  • Jack M D Owen

    September 30, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Small towns America seem to produce Presidents with a Heart. City boys tend favor other body functions. Guess its the difference between having Soul and, a Soul.

    • Matthew Kopka

      October 1, 2018 at 4:48 am

      I guess this probably means you loved Clinton (Hope, AK) and hate Trump (the Bronx). But it could be that you just cut and pasted this from some other half-literate person at Red State, so we will withhold judgement, at least for now. Personally, I wouldn’t read too too much into these things. Lincoln was certainly a poor country boy and Jefferson and Washington rich kids. In their own way, each made sterling contributions. All best.

  • Christine Amorin

    September 30, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Great ad….and so thrilled a town like Palatka welcomed Mayor Gillum….let’s Bring it Home!

    • Stella Maria Sarkees

      October 1, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      When coming back to Gainesville?

  • St. Johns County For Gillum

    September 30, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    The crowd was enthusiastic and amazing. His message resonated strongly with them. I’m so glad to see he is willing to go to places that others overlook. He is keeping his promise of listening to all of Florida, not just the ones in big cities.

  • Pata Farber

    September 30, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    A.G. Has what is needed for big old Florida. There is no comparison to DeSantis .
    Mayor Gillum is very different from most – he cares. Otherwise why Palatka.

  • James Bonilla

    September 30, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    It’s not socialism..its making better use of funds.He wants to raise taxes on Corporations not individuals and use that money for health-care..for ordinary citizens.They love to scare you with labels ..see the Forrest thru the trees people

    • V Reeves

      September 30, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      When businesses get their taxes raised, how do you think they make up for that financial hit? They pass it on to consumers and we all pay more for products and services. Did you think businesses just eat the cost?

    • Keith

      October 4, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      When as you say he raises taxes on my business to take care of you? How fair is that? Its not fair at all!! Its Socialism….Look for the mayor to start a state income tax also. Remember my words. No complaints if the taxer is elected…..

  • Yolanda Swilley-Smith

    September 30, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I’m so happy the base is staying strong for Mr. Gillum. Thank you for coming to our small town to show that we also matter. Bring it home!!!

  • Romegeorgiaman

    September 30, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    The Candidate looks like Dennis Haysbert the Allstate Good Hands guy,and this is why he gets votes.his socialism platform is all about free stuff for people.but at what cost..? Shame he isn’t independent.his campaign funds come from George Soros,legendary political upender. Soocialsm never works..just look at Cuba,Venezuela..

    • DryBones

      September 30, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      Yes, isn’t it amazing how scary the idea of doing something other than maximizing profits at any cost can be? Being socially responsible, horrors!

      Troll or proudly brainwashed, either way you need to go reevaluate your life.

    • Margaux

      October 1, 2018 at 1:18 am

      Denmark Norway Sweden Australia France Canada were talking healthcare here lady, not a federal government takeover. Come on.

  • Harold Finch

    September 30, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    The Town is over 50% black, with an all black city commission, a fair size hispanic population and a few very liberal elected officials that include County Commissioner Chip Laibl, Tax Collector Linda Myers and School Cheif Rick Surrency.. However in the County of the 20,000 plus registered voters, the majority are republican and those who are not will overwhemling vote for Ron Desantis!!

  • Elizabeth Bacon-Smith

    September 30, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Gillum was amazing! Fresh, genuine, funny, kind, and caring. He brings serious hope for the state of our state and nation. If you have the opportunity to see him speak in person, you will find the above to be true; and that he has serious plans that will help ALL the people of Florida.
    #BringItHome, Gillum!!

  • Judy Spangler

    October 1, 2018 at 7:19 am

    #BringItHomeFlorida! Go Gillum…our next Governor!

  • Pam

    October 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I was at the Gillam event in Palatka and we were very grateful to have a candidate for governor come to our small rural area. Shows he cares about all of Florida, not just the I4 corridor. Bring it home, – VOTE GILLAM FOR GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA

  • Pattee

    October 1, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    And there it is! I knew some bigoted jack ass would chime in. Congratulations Finch! You get to wear the dunce hat crown. You may now take your walk of shame. Carry your ignorance proudly. All those 50% black folks were truly so interested in your 2 cents. Not. Shame on you. Shame shame shame. Now let’s all sing the song we all learned in Sunday school as innocent children! Jesus loves the little children. All God’s children of the world. Red and yellow black and white. They are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world! One more time! Louder!!!!

  • khhayes

    October 3, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I sure can tell that communism vs capitalism is no longer taught in schools. If you want socialism go to Valenzuela. Socialism is great until you run out of everybody’s money. If you say tax the big corporations, where do you think they get their money? The taxes are paid by the people buying their product. The ponzi scheme of social security will eventually fail. I am retired now but never expected social security to be around. I really don’t need it because I saved my money. Anyone that plans to live on social security are going to work all their lives. This country was founded on capitalism and is what makes it so great!

  • Keith

    October 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Cant wait for the free stuff to start flowing…. coming from detroit I am reddy for a good house and a phone!!

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    October 9, 2018 at 1:14 am

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Comments are closed.


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