Andrew Gillum vows to ‘evict Trump’ from White House by registering one million Florida voters

Former Tallahassee mayor announces voter registration to help Democrats win back Sunshine State

Tom Parfitt
Thursday 21 March 2019 16:30
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Democrat candidate for Flordia governor Andrew Gillum rips into opponent Ron DeSantis over racism

Democratic rising star Andrew Gillum has launched a major drive to “evict” Donald Trump from the White House, by registering one million voters in Florida ahead of the 2020 election.

The former mayor of state capital Tallahassee, who narrowly lost to a Republican in last year’s race for Florida governor, said he would be working with the political group “Bring it Home” to help the Democrats win the battleground state next year.

However, the 39-year-old did not confirm whether he would enter the crowded field of Democratic contenders to run against Mr Trump.

Speaking at an event in Miami Gardens, Florida, Mr Gillum asked the crowd: “Are you all ready to flip Florida blue? Or better yet are you ready to flip the United States blue?

“Send Donald Trump a message that says your eviction notice is served and you are out of here. I can’t think of a bigger better state to send that message. We are uniquely situated to send that eviction notice.”

Florida is seen as crucial to Mr Trump’s re-election hopes after his 2016 victory there by about one percentage point. Mr Trump won after Florida voters had twice favoured his predecessor Barack Obama in close elections in 2008 and 2012.

Mr Gillum stood on a staunchly liberal platform in last year’s election for governor, winning strong support among black voters and in many metropolitan areas.

But he lost by about 33,000 votes, or 0.4 per cent of ballots cast, to Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis. Mr Trump repeatedly campaigned for Mr DeSantis during the race.

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Florida Democrats have identified lagging voter registration as a crucial failing since Mr Obama’s final election. The party has seen its historic advantage over Republicans in voter registration numbers slip from about 550,000 more voters in 2012 to fewer than 250,000 currently.

In a separate announcement yesterday, the Florida Democratic Party said it planned to spend $2m (£1.5m) to register 200,000 Democrats over the coming year. By contrast, the party registered fewer than 7,400 voters in 2017, it has said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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