The moment Andrew Gillum won the Democratic primary for Florida governor on Aug. 28 was a reminder of Barack Obama’s historic presidential win.
His message was very progressive and Gillum was forced to face white candidates who were well established politically and financially.
This is simply a small win in the bigger race for the governor race.
Gillum is the David, and a Republican Party led by Ron DeSantis is Goliath.
In this metaphoric battle, Gillum’s opponent DeSantis is a three-term Republican congressman. He is backed by Donald Trump and enjoys more campaign money than Gillum in the race for governor.
To make matters worse, history isn’t on his party’s side.
Democrats have not lived in the Governor's Mansion for 20 years.
Despite the historical aspect, Gillum has been winning elections since 2003, when as a student at FAMU he won a seat on the Tallahassee City Commission. Gillum remained a commissioner until he was elected mayor in 2014.
Gillum has experienced winning political campaigns and it is imperative that he follows the strategy put in place by his staff.
A notable name to remember helping his campaign is Sean Pittman. Pittman is well connected in the state capital as a lobbyist, political consultant and president and chief of the Orange Bowl Committee.
Pittman’s experience brings connections throughout the state. Pittman’s background gives Gillum a key addition to his team.
One of the biggest aspects of his campaign is Gillum endorsements. He's reached major names in the political and entertainment worlds.
In the primaries, maverick Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed and rallied supporters in Orlando and Tampa. This endorsement reached a Democratic audience.
The most important endorsement came from the nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club. Gillum was featured in two interviews, and both interviews have totaled 126,000 views.
The significance of the endorsement reached the black millennials who listen to hip-hop. This is one of the key components that helped Obama win in Florida in his two presidential races.
To ensure his win for governor, Gillum must do two things: win the pivotal counties and the big counties.
According to Ballotpedia, the pivot counties are Jefferson, Monroe, Pinellas and St. Lucie. The four pivot counties voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election after previously voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. He must make sure that he wins Duval, Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
Gillum’s race will be a political engagement between a progressive and conservative ideology of how the state of Florida should be run. The 2018 midterm is important because of the long-term effects on policies and laws.