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Andrew Gillum ready to go there if Ron DeSantis attacks in Florida governor debate

"I'm going to do everything I can to have a debate that is deserving of the people of Florida," Gillum…

“I’m going to do everything I can to have a debate that is deserving of the people of Florida,” Gillum said. “But if I have to go there, I’m going to go there.” [1

9659002] Though they have blanketed the airwaves with ads, the debate will offer Gillum and DeSantis a chance to introduce themselves to voters in a more intimate and unscripted setting.

“There’s an element of this that’s sort of the initial pass / fail thing everyone has to go through, “Florida-based Democratic Strategist Steve Schale said.” Obviously, I think Andrew’s done more of this stuff in his life, but both of them are fairly new quantities on the statewide scale and stage. “

DeSantis, like Gillum, was a surprise primary winner. Men hans overgang til de generelle valg har været en rocky one. After outlasting Adam Putnam, the state’s agriculture commissioner, DeSantis went on Fox News to warn Floridians not to “monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda” and voting for Gillum, who stands to be the state’s first African American governor. [19659009] “It has zero to do with race,” DeSantis said during the firestorm that followed. “It has everything to do with whether we want Florida to go in a good direction.”

DeSantis resigned from his House seat soon afterwards to focus on the gubernatorial contest. Men hans kampagne, som i første omgang var næsten helt forankret på hans fealty til Trump, har flyttet langsomt i rolling out a policy platform. DeSantis opposes Medicaid expansion in the state, which Gillum ardently supports, but has still not – just weeks out of the election – released a comprehensive health care plan. His website’s issues page does not address it, which polling has shown to be a top concern for Florida voters.

On Saturday morning, though, the Republican got another boost from Trump, who tweeted his support – An attack on Gillum.

“DeSantis is working hard. A great Congressman and top student at Harvard & Yale, Ron will be a record setting governor for Florida.” Rick Scott gave him tremendous foundations to further build on, ” Trump said. “His opponent runs one of the worst and most corrupt cities in the United States!”

Gillum promptly fired back, quoting Trump and suggesting the President had not been brave enough to mention him by name : “When you lie about me from the most powerful office in the world,” Gillum wrote, “and still do not have the courage to @ me …”

Trump was referring to an ongoing federal investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee. Gillum has said the FBI told him he was not a focus of the probe. Earlier this month, his campaign sent a letter to television stations asking that they stop running a Florida Republican Party. Gillum directly to it.

Gillum has successfully united Florida Democrats – one of his primary opponents, Chris King, is now his running mate – and has the uniform support of the political left’s best-known national figures. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was an early supporter of Gillum, who has received significant financial support from liberal megadonists Tom Steyer and George Soros. Gillum will appear alongside Hillary Clinton at a private event later in the week and, separately, at events with former Vice President Joe Biden, who will also be campaigning for Sen. Bill Nelson, the incumbent Democrat now in a tight re-election fight with GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

DeSantis and Gillum will meet again, for their second and likely final debate, on Wednesday in South Florida.

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