With the August 28 primary drawing closer, Democratic candidates in the race for governor are launching new television ads (see below) that take two different approaches. Two of those spots are part of a major buy by a political committee on behalf of Democrat Andrew Gillum. The other ad, released by the Philip Levine campaign takes on a unique, personal message.
Levine’s ad is called “Ella,” and touches on the real life story of his Tampa Bay regional director, Ella Coffee.
A week after being named regional director, Coffee was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“One week after Philip Levine asked me to head up his campaign here, the doctor called. It was bad,” Coffee said in the spot. “I had breast cancer.”
“Team Levine is more than just a campaign—it’s a family,” Coffee said a statement Monday morning. “Before I started in my position, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Levine campaign told me to come on; that this is a journey that no one should take by themselves and we’re going to take this walk with you.“
“Ella’s diagnosis stunned us. Our team is standing with her as we take this walk together—it’s the right thing to do, no one should have to make that journey alone,” Levine said in a written statement Monday morning. “Campaigns are about more than winning and losing—they’re about people coming together for a common purpose and about the relationships made along the way.”
The Levine spot is scheduled to air statewide.
The Gillum spots, which are part of a six-figure social media buy that is scheduled to start running Tuesday, are being paid for by billionaire Tom Steyer and his NextGen American political committee.
“We know that young voters are online, and a strong and smart digital campaign will be key to pushing Andrew Gillum across the finish line on August 28th,” said Steyer. “Andrew Gillum is a true progressive champion with a history of standing up for his convictions and doing the right thing. His lived experience, values and ideas resonate with young Floridians across all backgrounds, and will help Democrats win up and down the ticket in November.”
The NextGen America ads come after Steyer vowed earlier this month to contribute at least $1 million to the support the Gillum campaign.
The Gillum sports are called “Lived It” and “Our Turn.” They focus on Gillum’s biography and his upbringing in a low-income household.