Alcee Hastings endorses Andrew Gillum for Florida governor
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, has endorsed Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in his 2018 race for Florida governor.
Hastings, who has served 13 terms, is the longest serving member of the Democratic Florida delegation and represents a heavily left-leaning Broward/Palm Beach district. Hastings chose Gillum over his former Congressional colleague, Gwen Graham, and Orlando businessman Chris King who are also running. This is the first endorsement by a sitting member of Congress from Florida in the race so far.
Here is Hastings' statement from the Gillum campaign press release:
“We live in historically troubling times, and last year's election result proved that the stakes are high. I feel it necessary to make my voice heard early in this process, so that Democrats and all Floridians understand what is at stake in the 2018 election. For the last 20 years, under Republican rule in Tallahassee, communities of color across the state have suffered from a lack of job opportunities, poor access to quality public education, and access to quality and affordable healthcare. As Democrats, we need to make significant changes, and in this spirit, I believe that Mayor Andrew Gillum is the right choice to lead our state.
“Mayor Gillum is an innovative pragmatic progressive leader that Florida desperately needs to confront our biggest challenges: attacking climate change, rebuilding our economy, protecting access to healthcare, and revitalizing public education. He has shown the courage to stand up for what he believes in, and he has never hesitated to give a voice to those who need one most. Floridians can trust Andrew Gillum to rebuild our state into one that works for everyone.
“There are outstanding Democrats that have announced or are mentioned as running for governor in our state. My support of Andrew should not be construed as being against others. I will vigorously support the Democratic nominee for governor and do all that I can to ensure that our state goes from Red to Blue in 2018."
This post was updated to reflect that Hastings is the Democratic dean of the Florida delegation.