NextGen Florida spent $19.8 million in Florida between Aug. 7 and Oct. 22 this year with the influsion of cash coming from California billionaire and former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer. Their goals: to defeat Gov. Rick Scott, raise awareness about climate change and bring young people to the polls. They failed on the first, succeeded on the second, and the report card on the third goal appears to be mixed.
Here's the campaign wrap-up by Florida Director Jackie Lee:
"Like many Floridians, we are concerned by Governor Scott’s denial of science and his cozy relationship with corporate special interests, like Big Sugar and Duke Energy. With his victory last night, we are hopeful that he will heed the thousands of voters calling for climate action and take concrete steps to represent the interests of all Floridians.
"NextGen Climate Florida played a key role in raising awareness of the challenges Florida will continue to face if we don’t begin to address climate change. NextGen Climate is proud of the 100,000 committed Climate Action Voters that we identified who recognize that climate change is a serious problem. Our organizers have worked tirelessly to bring together these voters and build a robust, grassroots movement through over 1,854,000 door knocks and phone calls.
"We also ran an aggressive mail, television, radio and digital campaign across the state highlighting what was at stake in this election. We opened 21 offices in Florida, from Tallahassee to Miami, and NextGen Climate’s presence—both on the ground and on the airwaves—has forced Governor Rick Scott to answer to Florida voters. After studiously avoiding mentions of the environment and climate change for four years, Scott is now on the defensive about these critically important issues, and Floridians will be watching.
"NextGen Climate Florida and our Democratic allies ran a solid ground game and organized a block of drop-off Democratic voters who committed to vote on climate in the Sunshine State this election, and in the future. The fight against climate change in Florida is just beginning, and NextGen Climate will remain engaged and continue to keep climate on the ballot."