Florida’s Democrat gubernatorial primary is continuing to descend into another Hillary vs. Bernie style fight.
The Bernie Sanders-wing of the party has begun to consolidate around Andrew Gillum’s campaign. Just recently, Our Revolution – the Bernie Sanders aligned group – threw its support behind Gillum. While at the same time, the Democrat establishment’s hand-picked candidate, Gwen Graham and self-funder Philip Levine, have struggled and failed to attract base enthusiasm, “raise real money,” and deflect devastating attacks.
Despite the “cloud” of corruption and scandals surrounding his candidacy, Gillum has attracted large support in the competition for earned media,” drawing “big crowds,” and even securing the endorsement of former Florida Democrat Party Chair, Bob Poe.
While Gillum’s campaign gains momentum, his supporters are launching attacks against Graham that echo critiques of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid.
In a recent op-ed, Florida Democrat Representative and Gillum supporter, Shervin Jones, suggested Graham was not “authentic,” and couldn’t be trusted to be “in their corner.”
Florida Democrats were hoping this year would be different. But, as the divisive battles of 2016 carry forward into their gubernatorial primary, their chances of uniting for victory appears increasingly unlikely. Florida Democrats have seen this story before, and it doesn’t end well for them.
Sun Sentinel Column:
“Florida’s Democrats are hungry for authentic progressives this year. They’re ready to vote for a leader who is fighting for higher wages for working families, expanding quality, affordable health care for all, defending our environment, protecting the rights of every Floridian, and taking meaningful action on gun safety. That’s why Gillum has emerged as the real progressive in the race for governor, and why the media has called him the ‘Democrat catching fire’ who is ‘speaking from that true progressive playbook.’
This year, Democrats know more than ever who’s really in their corner. They know it’s not someone who proudly declared she was a ‘very conservative Democrat’ and they know it isn’t someone who said she was the only Democrat who could win statewide.”