The impact of weeks of intense innovative grassroots activities is beginning to be seen in the Florida Governor’s race. A poll released a day after Andrew Gillum was the only candidate to show at the Tampa NAACP forum, shows the Tallahassee Mayor and most progressive candidate in the race who would become Florida’s first Black governor, surging to within 6 points of the lead.
“Gillum has been considered the underdog in this race despite being the best qualified and now we’re seeing the moment where he comes from behind,” explains former state senator and chairperson of the New Florida Vision PAC, Dwight Bullard. “This year is a year of firsts across the country and people want the opportunity to make history in Florida too. We’re doing everything we can to make sure people know that Gillum is on the ballot and he’s the best candidate with the best plan for Florida’s future.”
New Florida Vision PAC has focused its efforts on expanding the electorate by mobilizing those African American, Latino, and Haitian voters who have been ignored in past elections but are turning out in 2018. To reach non-traditional voters, they’ve taken on radio ads on popular stations and commissioned a mural by a graffiti artist in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. This past week, they followed up with Taco Tuesdays and other week-day texting parties with a Chivas party bus ride to the polls in Hialeah, canvassing in Liberty City and Jacksonville and a Brunch & Vote, with African-American millennial group Social XChange to get the word out. It’s text and door-knocking program is reaching 100,000 voters.
“Andrew Gillum has the experience, the character, the plan and the support from dozens of organizations like ours to win this,” explains Andrea Cristina Mercado. “We have the numbers and now we finally have a candidate to vote for. Our communities are mobilizing to make history this year and to show we’re done being ignored.”