Despite being massively outspent by his centrist millionaire opponents and lacking support from the Democratic establishment, progressive Andrew Gillum rode grassroots enthusiasm for his unabashedly left-wing agenda of Medicare for All and bold criminal justice reform to a shocking and historic upset victory Tuesday night in Florida’s gubernatorial primary.
“Tonight, we proved what’s possible when people come together and show up to build Florida into a better state for all,” Gillum wrote on Twitter following his victory, which was celebrated as further evidence that the progressive movement is gaining momentum nationwide. “I’m truly honored to represent people across the state as the Democratic nominee — and I promise to stand up for everyday Floridians and the issues that matter most.”
Tonight, we proved what’s possible when people come together & show up to build FL into a better state for all. I’m truly honored to represent people across the state as the Democratic nominee — and I promise to stand up for everyday Floridians and the issues that matter most. pic.twitter.com/zC19uMBIer
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) August 29, 2018
While Gillum — who is currently the mayor of Tallahassee — lacked the institutional backing and immense personal wealth of his Democratic opponents, he overcame this cash deficit with a massive surge in voter turnout, which was attributed to his unwavering embrace of popular policies like Medicare for All and raising the minimum wage.
“My opponents have spent, together, over $90 million in this race. We have spent four [million],” Gillum told supporters at an event on Saturday. “Money doesn’t vote. People do.”
Gillum also won the support of nationally prominent progressives like New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
In a statement Tuesday night, Sanders applauded Gillum’s “powerful”…