Florida’s First African American Candidate for Governor
Many African Americans in the third largest state in America are unaware that Andrew Gillum, the 38-year-old mayor of Tallahassee, is running for Governor of Florida. This is an unprecedented milestone in the history of Florida, and the Florida Association of Black Owned Media, Inc. (FABOM) has agreed to having a dialogue in their newspapers to learn more about mayor Gillum’s platform, his record and why he’s running for governor of Florida in 2018.
Q: What makes Mayor Gillum qualified to be Governor of Florida and Why Now?
A: I’m running for Governor to rebuild Florida into a state that works for all of us. I’ve served Tallahassee as Mayor since 2014 and at 23 became the youngest person ever elected to the City Commission when I was a senior at Florida A&M University. As Mayor, I beat the gun lobby in court to protect commonsense reform and stood up to President Trump and Governor Rick Scott to defend immigrants. Under my leadership, we built training programs for underrepresented workers in President Obama’s Tech Hire program. I also helped lower violent crime in the City of Tallahassee by more than 10 percent through increased investments in law enforcement, community policing, re-entry programs, and an expansion of social service funding.
Q: What are your Values and Principles in your Life and in your public/political record that will help you win the Democratic primary?
A: I was born in Miami where my mother drove a school bus and my father was a construction worker. I was the first in my immediate family to graduate high school and college, and I know firsthand the needs and hearts of Florida’s working people. I’ve never been afraid to take a stand against the entrenched special interests, especially the gun lobby, and I’ve stood up and fought for our families every day of my career.
Q: As the first African American to run for the Governor of Florida is that important or significant, and does the Black community have a voice in the Florida government.
A: Florida’s African Americans must see themselves and their issues represented in the Governor’s Mansion. For 20 years the special interests and Republicans have run rough-shod over the people of Florida and that includes the Black community. We need a Governor who will fight for our issues without ceasing.
Q: How do you get the Black Community’s vote in a Mid-Term election?
A: We show up when we feel the Democratic candidate knows our issues and fights for them passionately, and when that candidate knows our story.
I am truly that candidate. From my accomplishments and legislative fights to my back-ground, I’ve lived an experience that Florida’s Black community knows well. My story is their story, and my fight is their fight.
Q: Explain –“Bring it Home”
A:When I was a little boy, my grandmother would tell me, “Boy, go to school. Mind your teachers. Get your lesson. And bring that education home. Bring it home for your little brother and sister who don’t know what it is yet — bring it home. Bring it home for that little boy you play with down the street — God knows where he’ll end up. Bring it home.”
Paid for by Andrew Gillum,
Candidate for Governor