The gubernatorial campaign of Andrew Gillum received a major boost Thursday night. Billionaire Tom Steyer, founder of NextGen America, announced he is endorsing Gillum and contributing $1 million to his campaign, which includes a $500,000 donation from Steyer to Gillum’s political committee.
“As we battle for the heart and soul of this nation, Andrew Gillum is the kind of leader we need on the front lines,” said Steyer in a written statement. “He’s someone we can trust to do the right thing, to put the people before the powerful, and who is unafraid to stand up for justice, now when we need it most. Those who are willing to act courageously and stand up for what is right, are those who will shape the political landscape of the country, and that’s why we’re taking this unprecedented step to make sure Andrew is representing the Democratic Party in November.
NextGen calls the contribution an “initial investment.” In addition to the cash contribution, the organization says it will provide 50 organizers to Gillum’s campaign who will target voters under the age of 40.
Gillum responded in a Twitter post late Thursday.
Honored to have @NextGenAmerica & @TomSteyer’s support in this race! They’ve been fighting for our Democratic values all over the country, & we can’t afford to be patient anymore. The time for bold, audacious change is now & I know we’re ready to deliver it in August & November.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) June 29, 2018
Steyer is the second billionaire to endorse Gillum, whose ties with NexGen America can be traced back to his days serving as executive director of the Young Elected Officials Network. George Soros had previously endorsed Gillum.
Gillum has consistently come in third place in most recent polls.
The Capitolist’s own “Horserace Index,” a weighted poll average that uses pollster accuracy rankings from fivethirtyeight.com, the age and obsolescence of each poll, along with news and election cycle adjustments to determine the true state of the 2018 Governor’s Race, shows Philip Levine holding a 3-point lead over Gwen Graham. Levine is averaging 25 percent of those surveyed, compared to Graham’s 22 percent. The Horserace Index shows Gillum in third place with an average of 19 percent, while Chris King is averaging 9 percent. Jeff Greene who entered the race in early June had not yet been surveyed at the time of the latest index.