Andrew Gillum promises to raise $450,000 to engage voters of color

andrew gillum interview
It will be raised for the Democratic Party, not from his Forward Florida committee.

Former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum committed to raising $450,000 for the Florida Democratic Party. Resources will be used to reengage voters of color in Florida to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

But notably, the funding won’t come the Forward Florida political committee Gillum chairs or the Forward Florida Action organization he controls.

“We are going to raise these resources directly,” Gillum said on a conference call announcing the effort.

Some of the money has already been raised, according to Gillum’s team, and some will be raised in the near future.

The effort is part of Gillum’s push since losing the gubernatorial election by 0.41 percent to get more Democrats voting in Florida.

Gillum in March announced plans to “register and engage” 1 million voters before the 2020 election. While widely perceived as a goal to register 1 million new voters, Gillum and supporters say that engaging voters who have sat out several elections means just as much.

“Yes we are focused on new registrations,” he said. “But we also want to focus on every person in the state who is updating their registration information.”

The push comes as Gillum’s committee and nonprofit have come under fire for spending substantially but not appearing on target to get 1 million new voters on the books.

Florida Democratic leaders said despite losing the Governor’s race and the defeat of a Democratic U.S. Senator, they saw successes in 2018. Among those, more Democratic voters turned out than in the 2016 presidential election, according to Terrie Rizzo, Florida Democratic Party Chair.

She said making easier paths to voting improve turnout for Democrats. For that reason, the party will use the $450,000 raised with Gillum to encourage voting by mail in communities of color.

“This is not about a single election,” Rizzo said. By boosting participating among Democratic voters in Hispanic and black communities, Democrats will see greater success from top line elections down to municipal races.

Juan Peñalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, noted that the party ahead of 2018 enrolled 538,000 votes classified as “low probability” voters, and about 300,000 of them voted in the 2018 election.

The focus of this outreach effort will be on “reengagement,” Peñalosa said. That means getting people who are registered to vote but haven’t bothered to do so for multiple elections.

“For too long in this state, we have waited until the very end,” he said. But the party ahead of 2020 has expanded its staffing and footprint and will make a concerted effort to engage voters early.

Gillum and Peñalosa acknowledged that legal challenges surrounding implementation of Amendment 4 have complicated outreach to felons who expect their rights to be restored. Gillum noted when voters register, individuals must check a box saying they have met all sentencing requirements and risk perjury charges if it turns out they were mistaken.

“We hope to eliminate any uncertainty among returning citizens,” 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].


  • John Kociuba

    December 5, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Dear Citizens ~

    Re: Communist Operative Andrew Gilliam

    We see it time and time again, over and over as years pass by, freedom after freedom being dissolved, and election after election protected by treasonous mainstream Commie media that tells you nothing!


    The NEGRO, WHITE, JEW, HISPANIC ASIAN, COMMUNIST will say Florida is racist! But here in Florida minority gun ownership is protected and flourish.

    Is “STAND YOUR GROUND LAW” racist? If any mob of any color can attack a law abiding citizen with malicious intent like in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, California, Illinois etc

    What about property rights against frivolous lawsuits?



    Defend Christ, Defend Freedom, Defend Your fFamilies, Defend The Constitution!


    • VOTE DEM 2020 !

      December 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      You’re a wackoo, Johnny! You do your trolling here on your own – or does some rightwingnut organization pay you for posting this drivel?

  • D-U-M-P T-R-U-M-P !!!

    December 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Florida’s ‘good ol’ whiteboy GOPs that run this state are racist without question – and the ample proof resides in their CONSTANT measures of voter suppression – including redistricting in ways to demean and diminish both the Democratic vote overall and the minority vote in particular. And, of course, Florida courts are of the same ilk – so there’s absolutely no help there!

    IF you can MOBILIZE THE BLACK VOTE, Andrew, the Democrats can win this state by a healthy margin. You have to show and convince the minorty vote that they CAN rule the roost – IF they would only vote with the same fervor they show on other issues important to them!

  • Cogent Observer

    December 5, 2019 at 4:51 pm


    You care about elections only because you care about getting elected-and thereby remaining on the public dole.

    If you want to set an example, get a real job. It would set a good one for the “constituency” that you wish to “mobilize.” Being a “community activist” or whatever you proclaim to be at the moment isn’t a real job.

    And you can tell George that I said so.

  • gary

    December 6, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Too late criminal! Candace Owens already red pilled them, they are on to your race baiting!

Comments are closed.


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