After spending 11 days guiding Tallahassee’s response and recovery efforts during Hurricane Michael, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is back on the campaign trail — a campaign infused with another $2 million contribution from one of Gillum’s biggest supporters.
Billionaire political activist Tom Steyer from California has been a big supporter of Gillum and that support has translated into big money for the Gillum campaign. Last month, Steyer announced his progressive political organizations would contribute $5.2 million to the Democrat with about half of that money going to digital advertising and about $2 million going into voter-turnout efforts.
As first reported by CNN on Thursday, Steyer’s latest $2 million contribution will go into the account of Gillum’s “Forward Florida” political action committee.
“If you were going to choose a single race that has the most national significance, it would be the governor’s race in Florida,” Steyer told CNN.
Gillum, an admitted progressive, faces Republican Ron DeSantis in next month’s election which is just 18 days away. DeSantis is a staunch conservative and supporter of President Donald Trump. The race is one of the contests in the midterm elections that is receiving national attention.
DeSantis has been critical of the big money contributions coming into the Gillum campaign coffers from progressive supporters who happen to have a lot of money.
“Progressive billionaires LOVE Andrew Gillum,” the DeSantis campaign told supporters in an email sent out this week seeking contributions. “Whether they’re from San Francisco or New York City, his billionaire bankrollers can’t resist pouring millions of dollars into his campaign to be governor of Florida. Now, I believe that if you want to be governor of Florida, you should focus on raising money from the people you’ll be representing — not mostly out-of-state billionaires.”
Steyer makes no apology for contributing millions of dollars to Gillum, who Steyer sees as a special candidate, saying “here you have a young African American that is straightforward on education, good on climate, took on the NRA, straightforward on healthcare, has talked a lot about justice and the criminal justice system and supports impeaching the President.”
Steyer believes those issues appeal to young and minority voters who traditionally stay home during midterm elections will be motivated to support Gillum.
“Andrew Gillum is straightforward and speaks the truth and that is why I think we got such a big turnout in the primary and why we will have an even bigger turnout in November,” he said.