How Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Gillum Won With Grassroots Activism

After progressive candidate Andrew Gillum pulled off a stunning upset in Florida’s Democratic primary for governor Tuesday, putting him on a path to become the state’s first African-American governor, he was attacked within hours by his Republican opponent — handpicked by Trump — who warned voters not to “monkey this up” by supporting Gillum. Even Fox said they they don’t condone his comments. We speak with two activists who’ve worked with Gillum: Phillip Agnew with Dream Defenders in Florida and Charlene Carruthers, head of Black Youth Project 100 and author of the new book Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: We begin today’s show looking at how progressive candidate Andrew Gillum pulled off a stunning upset in Florida’s Democratic primary for governor Tuesday, putting him on a path to become the state’s first African-American governor if he wins in November. The 39-year-old mayor of Tallahassee was backed by Bernie Sanders and spent millions less than his better-funded opponents, including former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, the daughter of Bob Graham, the former governor and senator. Gillum was the only nonmillionaire in the five-candidate race. On the campaign trail, Gillum called for Medicare for all, abolishing ICE, reforming the criminal justice system, repealing Florida’s “stand your ground” law and increasing corporate taxes.

President Trump handpicked Gillum’s Republican opponent in the governor’s race, Congressman Ron DeSantis. And on Wednesday, he tweeted — Trump tweeted, quote, “Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream…a failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city. This is not what Florida wants or needs!” he wrote. DeSantis, who is white, then drew widespread outrage Wednesday when he used racist language to describe Gillum…

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