The large and influential Florida Education Association has thrown its support to Democrat Andrew Gillum for governor in the November election, pointing to his “tireless and fearless” advocacy for public education.
Gillum has said he will invest $1-billion into public schools and pump up below-average teacher salaries, among other plans.
The AFSCME Florida union for public employees also endorsed Gillum this week, and the Equality Florida Action PAC, a statewide political committee working to end discrimination against Florida’s LGBTQ community, today announced its endorsement of Gillum.
The PAC also plans to launch a statewide fundraising tour and campaign to mobilize 1.3 million “pro-equality” voters. The focus will be on motivating nearly 500,000 voters who rarely vote in midterms, among other strategies.
The groups have moved quickly since Gillum’s win in Tuesday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, with some organizations switching gears following endorsements for Gwen Graham, who was considered a frontrunner and potentially the first female governor in Florida.
Gillum, who is Tallahassee’s mayor, is a young progressive who could become Florida’s first black governor.
His Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, got the most influential endorsement of all from President Donald Trump.
AFSCME executive director Jana Weaver said in a statement: “While Ron DeSantis is focused on his cable news headlines, Andrew Gillum has put together a real agenda to tackle our state’s income inequality, make a real investment in public education, protect our communities from senseless gun violence and expand healthcare access.”
AFSCME also endorsed Democrat Nikki Fried for Commissioner of Agriculture in the general election.