Andrew Gillum Delivers an Upset in Florida
The surprise of the evening was undoubtedly Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who clinched the Democratic nomination in Florida’s gubernatorial primary. Gillum defeated four wealthy rivals who far outspent the progressive FAMU graduate. “My opponents have spent, together, over $90 million in this race. We have spent four” million, he said campaign in Miami over the weekend. “Money doesn’t vote. People do.” He was right. The 39-year-old built a devoted following of progressives, many of them young and African American, with his campaign message of social justice and lifting up poor people, appealing to Florida’s growing diversity. He will face Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in November. If he wins, he will make history again by being the first Black Governor of the state. Dr. Jennifer Zimmerman claimed victory in Florida’s First Congressional District Democratic primary. The Philippines native immigrated to the U.S. 25 years ago. After graduating from the University of the Philippines, she obtained her medical degree at the University of the East, then moved to America, where she completed her residency training in Pediatrics at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. She owns her own practice in Milton. She will face incumbent Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz. Retired educator Yvonne Hayes Hinson is the victor in the Third Congressional District and will go on to face her Republican rival Congressman Ted Yoho. After retiring from Miami-Dade Public Schools as a Principal, the University of Florida grad became an entrepreneur launching her own company providing consultation and supplementary services to low performing schools. Chair of the Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee Sanjay Patel ran unopposed in the 8th Congressional District and will go on to face Republican Congressman Bill Posey in November. Ecuador native Debbie Mucarsel-Powell will face incumbent Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) in November in Florida’s 26th Congressional District. The former Associate Dean at Florida International University Medical School graduated from Pitzer College and went on to earn her Master’s from Claremont University. She has spent the last 25 years working for a host of nonprofit organizations. Donna Shalala, former Health and Human Services Secretary under President Bill Clinton, is the winner of the Democratic Primary in the state’s 27th Congressional District. Shalala currently serves as Trustee Professor of Political Science and Health Policy at the University of Miami, and had been President of the Clinton Foundation until March 2017. She will face in November Republican Cuban American journalist María Elvíra Salazar, as both aim to replace retiring Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Salazar is a former news anchor for Miami-based Mega TV who previously hosted a political news show called Maria Elvira Live. More on all the results here.