Yesterday was kind of a lazy day for this old retired crank living in Shady Hills, Florida. It was primary election day here and I had already voted by mail several weeks ago as a registered Democrat.
The airwaves have been filled this Summer with political ads; our Republican Governor is now running for a Senate seat while assorted right wingers sought to secure the Republican nomination to replace him.
On the Democratic side it was assumed (and all the polls confirmed) that the party favorite and Clintonite, Congresswoman Gwen Graham, daughter of a Florida Governor and Senator, would secure the nomination. She had spent her time in the House voting against admitting Syrian refugees and voting for several proposals which would have weakened Obamacare.
She was running in a crowded field against a former Mayor of Miami, an outspoken anti-Trump real estate billionaire and a black guy who trailed badly in the polls.
The black guy, Andrew Gillum, the Mayor of our capital city Tallahassee, was the most progressive of the bunch. But, being African-American and outspent by ten to one, was not considered to have a chance by anyone, including me.
Gillum. the 5th of 11 children, son of a construction worker father and a bus driver mother was not the scion of privilege not did he have access to millions of his own money. His TV ads were few and low key.
While Trump was the center of everyone else’ rhetoric, Gillum ran a campaign based on issues and positions he supported. He spoke of true universal health care, a $15 minimum hourly wage, criminal justice reform, abolishing ICE and banning assault weapons, pivoting away from talk of Trump’s impeachment.
He chose to ignore the President and run on questions that actually affect voter’s lives. Many people here in Florida struggling day to day don’t give a rat’s ass about Paul Manafort. He polled at 16% the day before the election. So much for polls.
Bernie Sanders came to Florida last week and embraced Gillum’s candidacy.
Last night, in an absolutely stunning victory that NO ONE expected, probably himself included, the most progressive candidate in the field was chosen as the Democratic Party standard bearer for the Florida governorship. No black man or woman has ever won the nomination for Governor of Florida.
This morning he was immediately attacked by Emperor Trump as the “failed socialist mayor” of Tallahassee. I’m sure we’ll hear that word a lot in the next couple of months. The media is already characterizing the race for Governor as a race of “two extremes.”
Congressman Ron DeSantis won the Republican primary, publicly kissing the Emperor’s ass and coming from behind to beat an assortment of “pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax” demi-fascists as the “Make Florida Great” candidate.
Is the key to victory to run on issues and not soley against Trump?
“At this point there is not a single living American who has not made up his or her mind one way or the other about our president. There are no more votes to be gotten by reminding us of his crass manners, his unstable temperament, or his legal woes — and even if there were, no one is better at doing it than the man himself. People need things to vote for, not just candidates to vote against. The political future will belong to Democrats who understand this.“
Should be an interesting two months.