Andrew Gillum Fails in Bid to Become Florida's First Black Governor
Andrew Gillum’s political career began as a student body president 17 years ago and he hoped that he will be first African American elected governor of Florida, and just the third black man after Virginia’s L. Douglas Wilder and Massachusetts’ Deval Patrick, in U.S. history ever elected to that office in any state.
Gillum told to his supports that he may not shown up in the way they thought and they would, but will still believe and trust in voters.
A few people expected Gillum to win the primary to become the democratic candidate in August but he faced tough competition as a nominee as Donald Trump successfully carried out in 2016, but he confidently polled ahead of DeSantis for much of the lead-up to the election.
But that was also failed as Gillum deficit once the counting had begun.
Feeling gracious despite defeat, Gillum was also defiant at his alma mater, the historically black Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
“Let’s make sure that people know we plan to have a seat at this thing and that we will not be ignored, will not be pushed aside and we will not be pushed into the shadows any more. That we’re here, and we’re here to stay,” Gillum said.
When told people that he had called DeSantis to congratulate, people felt emotional and hugged, cried, and gently booed him.
“If we’re really a country that says that no matter from where you come, what your circumstance is, if you work hard that you can achieve the American dream”, said Cecka Rose Green. “I just wonder if we’re really a country of inclusion,” she wiped away her tears.
She continued saying that they faced a lot of negativity and racial attack. It is hard to grow up as a black in America, and it is a kind of disheartening, she added.
The mood of the people had changed when the early results looked good for Gillum and later it has shown deficit slowly. Mostly college student crowd tried to stay positive, cheering for Democratic victories on the jumbo TV screens and dancing to the DJ.
Before Gillum took the stage, the last speaker had said they can still pull out and asked them to be energetic and get going.
One of the bright spots in Gillum’s speech was appreciation for Florida voters who approved amendment 4, which is a ballot measure that restores the vote to ex-felons who had previously been barred under state law.
Gillum also used his concession to reflect on his campaign slogan, “Bring it Home” which is far away from the usual retail politics electioneering and was a deep part of his family history, borrowed from his maternal grandmother.
“It was a directive to achieve whatever he set his mind to, then bring that success home to his family and community”, he said last week to Rolling Stone.
Gillum apologized that he wasn’t able to “bring it home”, but he promised “he is not going anywhere”. We are going to fight and keep fighting. We are going to keep working. We’re going to keep believing, and ultimately I believe we will be victorious”, he said wiping his tears and his wife R Jai grabbing his shoulder in support.