TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Mayor of Tallahassee and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) is pro-marijuana.
Gillum supports legalizing recreational marijuana as a means of reforming the criminal justice system and to decrease mass incarceration. Gillum also says that the revenue generated from legalizing marijuana in the state could be used for salary increases for teachers and educational staff.
The Tallahassee Mayor shocked everyone by winning the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on Aug. 28, thereby becoming the first African-American to win a gubernatorial nomination in the state of Florida for a major political party. Gillum beat out Florida state Rep. Gwen Graham for the Democratic nomination. Graham is a moderate Democrat and also the daughter of former Florida Governor Bob Graham.
The win prompted a nasty tweet from the president in which he called Gillum a failure. Gillum responded to the president with his own tweet. "What our state and country needs is decency, hope, and leadership. If you agree, join us at AndrewGillum.com. Also, @ me next time, @realDonaldTrump."
Gillum's Republican opponent, who has been endorsed by Trump, also had a racist dog-whistle for his base, according to NBC News. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) gave an interview where used coded language and said that electing Gillum as the state's governor would "monkey this up." He also said that Gillum was articulate as if it were some sort of surprise.
The Tallahassee mayor boldly stated his views on marijuana back in April when he posted a tweet which read "Legalization of marijuana is a civil rights & economic issue – and Florida deserves a Governor who isn't afraid to say so." Gillum was elected as mayor in 2014.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer endorsed Gillum on Oct. 4 for his gubernatorial bid, as did the mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman. "We have an excellent opportunity here, and that is to elect a mayor as governor. Mayors get things done. Mayors are on the front lines. Mayors make important decisions every day," said Kriseman.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Have Endorsed Gillum for Governor
Mayor Gillum has also been endorsed by progressive politician and former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who campaigned for Gillum in August. Former First Lady and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has also endorsed the mayor and will join him on his gubernatorial campaign at the end of October.
Clinton was also considering Gillum as her running mate during the 2016 presidential election. Gillum also has the financial support of billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer.
According to The New Yorker, Gillum has a progressive agenda which includes Medicare for all and a $15 dollar-per-hour minimum wage as well as legalizing recreational marijuana. Gillum also wants to increase corporate taxes to pay for education and plans to spend $1 billion on improving Florida's public education system. The gubernatorial candidate also wants to abolish ICE and impeach Trump.
A recent survey published Oct. 2 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy found that Gillum was in the lead with 45 percent of the vote compared to his Republican counterpart Ron DeSantis, who polled at 44 percent. Sixty-two percent of voters support legalizing recreational marijuana in the state and regulating it like alcohol.
Two out of three veterans in the state foresee a win for Gillum, and some people are wondering if the taboo subject of marijuana legalization will be the deciding factor at the ballot box this November. DeSantis is against legalizing recreational marijuana.
If Gillum wins Florida's race for governor, he will be the first Democrat to do so in more than 20 years. Registered voters can vote in the election on Nov. 6.