Andrew Gillum advises Ron DeSantis to prioritize diversity
Andrew Gillum on AM Joy

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A day after conceding Florida’s gubernatorial contest, Democrat Andrew Gillum offered advice to victor Ron DeSantis as he names an administration.

“Very quickly,” Gillum said, “bring in a diverse set of people.”

In an interview today with AM Joy on MSNBC, host Joy Reid asked what DeSantis should do after an election in which racial divides played a huge role, from DeSantis’ post-primary “Monkey This Up” moment to Gillum’s debate assertion that “racists believe he’s a racist.

Gillum said he remains concerned whether DeSantis has done enough to distance himself from fringe elements of the party.

“I was really disappointed to see him appoint Matt Gaetz to the transition team,” Gillum said.

Specifically, he called out Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican, for inviting Holocaust denier Chuck Johnson to the 2018 State of the Union.

“I don’t know if he is a known neo-Nazi,” Gillum said of Johnson, but he was “someone whose values are inconsistent, I would suggest, with a majority of people in my state.”

DeSantis invited Gillum for a summit to speak about the state’s future.

And as rhetoric escalated post-election about the U.S. Senate recount, The New York Times reports DeSantis actively sought to tone things down in the now-complete Governor’s race recount.

That may have prompted President Donald Trump yesterday to offer praise to Gillum on Twitter, calling him a “strong Democrat warrior.”

Gillum told Reid he would be fine meeting with DeSantis so long as it wasn’t merely a post-election “photo op” and provided “more of a sincere opportunity to have diverse voices at the table.”

“Mr. DeSantis, I would hope, would take this as an opportunity to acknowledge that half the people in this state voted differently, and they wanted a different outcome,” Gillum said.

“If he really means to be governor for all the people of the state of Florida and not just those that voted for him, that means he’s going to have to make some outreaches.”

And after a historically close election, one DeSantis won by 33,683 votes out of more than 8.2 million cast, Gillum said he wants election reform in Florida.

Gillum said in his opinion, one of the biggest problems with the election this year wasn’t during the recount but the fact that in Florida’s most dense (and Democratic) counties, early voting remains more limited. He called that “intentional voter suppression.”

“We need a statewide overhaul,” Gillum said, “that takes into account the fact that many of these counties, many of those counties in South Florida where you’ve got high Democratic participation, are not resourced in a way where they are able to have 21st century technology to count the votes and quite frankly to ensure that those who want to vote early have access to it.”

Gillum’s surprise primary win this year elevated his national profile, and Reid asked Gillum if he planned to run for President. Gillum laughed off the suggestion.

“I want to stay married,” he said, stating he and wife, R. Jai, planned a post-election vacation, and he would like to return to father duties attending his children’s soccer games.

He does plan to stay involved in state politics, and referenced passage of Amendment 4, which will automatically restore voting rights for 1.4 million ex-felons who already completed restitution to the state.

“We have 1.4 million people re-entering society who want a chance to be heard in this process,” he said.

He also discussed promoting a Medicaid expansion in Florida and fighting for better teacher pay.

“My eyes are going to be right here on Florida,” Gillum said.

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].


  • Whyte Power

    November 18, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    I agree. I hope DeSantis has diversity in his administration.
    Not just white conservatives.
    But black conservatives.
    And Hispanic conservatives.
    And Asian conservatives.
    And LBGTQ conservatives.

    That would be quite a diverse mix.
    But on expansion of early voting? NO.
    Just more time for the Dem-Socialists to steal elections.
    It’s called “Election Day.”
    Not Election Week, or Month.

  • Marshall

    November 18, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    What a joke. The one that calls everyone else “racist” is the one that is obsessed with race. This is why it is a blessing that Gillum lost. Now DeSantis likely will feel pressured to not hire qualified candidates to his administration and Supreme Court, solely because their white. Gillum’s idea of “diversity” is one where white/Caucasians are excluded for the sake of “diversity”. Gillum reeked of racial animosity/ extreme racial favoritism throughout his entire campaign. I hope that DeSantis exclusively bases his decisions on the quality of the candidate. If a qualified constitutionalist like Clarence Thomas appears then that’s great, but “diversity” should not be the factor.

  • mck

    November 18, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Man, Gillum just can’t refrain from the “I don’t know, but I’ve heard that you’re a racist. I heard that directly from a bunch of bonafide racists” schtick. He’s as bad as Trump.

    And he says this on Joy “Homophobic Gay Basher” Reid’s show. How does she still have a job? She needs to be #metooed by the LGBT community.

    Gillum makes stuff up constantly. What is he talking about our (Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami Dade) having more limited early voting? He makes it sound like the 3 richest counties in FL aren’t. Nobody made Brenda Snipes be a jack a$$. He should blame the person responsible, not imply the clusterf@#k was due to some state neglect of poor, minority counties, because they are Democratic. He made that up. He made up that there were 4 million valid votes not being counted. Why hasn’t anyone followed up on that? 4 million votes!

    He’s a black Trump. Makes stuff up and tars people with “I heard tell.” I don’t know DeSantis, but he was a US District attorney under Obama. The odds he’s a closet klan member are pretty low.

    He also has maintained his election snark. Gracious be not thy name. Seriously, he could have a show with Trump, like Larry David and that guy from the Crown Royal adds.

  • Gillum a Loser?

    November 19, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Not saying Gillum is a loser but losers all think Gillum is a… well you get it.

  • James

    November 21, 2018 at 1:16 am

    Gilium is NO different than any of those other COMMUNIST NIGLET RACIST WHO LOST.
    and that’s mostly WHY THEY LOST.

  • Dino J. Bliablias

    November 21, 2018 at 5:46 am


  • dave

    November 21, 2018 at 8:50 am

    I believe that both Florida and Georgia narrowly ducked the racist bullet by two very racist and unqualified democratic candidates. Neither one has displayed any professionalism or common since in their campaigns to be the head of each state. If anything they relied on their race to pull them through. Then after the elections when the lost they still could not accept the fact they had lost and pulled every string, made every outlandish accusation, and tried every “cheating” tactic to change the votes. Even a democrat could clearly see that both democratic candidates were not qualified to run either state and if elected would use their position to not further their states but to feather their new nests with racially charged and appointed individuals who would do their bidding for them instead of for the people of each state. It is no wonder that non-blacks question the motives, actions, trust, and dignity of anyone like these two. Both should be ashamed of themselves for relying on racism to take over their campaigns when the chips seemed to be against them for other reasons.

  • Jim

    November 21, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Look no further than the recent QB scandal involving one “Jamis”!
    Check out how the Mayor handled that one. Prejudiced from the beginning!

  • Gene Ralno

    November 22, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Screw Gillum. He’s a loser who lost and has no voice. DeSantis is a winner who won and is the boss now. He knows what’s best for Florida without input from the peanut gallery.

Comments are closed.


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