Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum made waves in last year’s 2018 midterm election during his gubernatorial bid. Though he lost the election to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Gillum still has not left the political spotlight.
As many anticipated what his next political move would be, Mayor Gillum hinted at an important 2020 announcement. Many believed that he would be making a run for the Presidency, but instead the Tallahassee Mayor announced that he was launching a state-wide voter registration effort to assist Democrats in building off their success in the 2018 midterm elections.
Heading into the 2018 election season, talk of a “blue wave” sweeping across the sunshine state dominated the political arena, but its effects were not as big as they were expected to be. However, Democrats did gain control of the House, and the race is on for the Presidency and the Senate.
The voter registration initiative will be managed by “Bring it Home Florida,” which is named after Mayor Gillum’s gubernatorial campaign slogan.
At an event on Wednesday that took place at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Gillum asked the adudience if they were “ready to flip Florida blue.”
Moreover, he pressed, “Are ya’ll ready to flip the United States of America blue?”
Speaking on his goal for the 2020 Presidential election, Mayor Gillum informed that “I’m tapping into that network – what we built from the campaign, the enthusiasm, the volunteers, the infrastructure, the assets there – and trying to turn all of that energy and effort into registering and engaging one million voters in advance of the 2020 election.”
Florida, a battleground state, voted for President Trump in the 2016 Presidential election, and Gillum hopes that engaging voters will prevent the state from voting red again in 2020.
Explaining the effectiveness of being engaged, Gillum detailed that “to me, it’s absolutely critical, not just to this election cycle but to the future of politics in the state of Florida, to get back into the business of engaging people where they live, talking to them outside the election and being in contact with them.” The mayor also added that “when we do reach out to them for their vote they’re not saying, ‘It’s been a long time and I haven’t talked to you. Why should we believe in you?’”
Engagement in South Florida is something that party activists felt was not strong enough from the Democratic Party, and it’s something that Democrats will try to correct in this upcoming election cycle.