In the clearest sign of the national consequences of Florida’s races for governor and Congress, former President Barack Obama will join Democrats Andrew Gillum and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday in Miami for an appearance that will be sandwiched between visits to the state by President Donald Trump.
Obama, whose Miami stop was announced Monday, is scheduled to stump with the two top-of-ticket candidates and other Democrats at the Ice Palace film studios near Overtown only four days before the Nov. 6 election. Democrats are hoping to win back the Florida Governor’s Mansion for the first time in two decades, and need to keep Nelson’s seat in the Senate if they hope to also claw back Congress’ upper chamber.
Obama’s appearance is part of his party’s get-out-the-vote effort, as are Trump’s. But the dueling visits set up a clash between the parties’ highest profile figures, with Trump in Fort Myers on Halloween with GOP gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis and Gov. Rick Scott, and in Pensacola on Saturday.
“What they both know, what Trump knows and what Obama knows, is whoever’s governor has a powerful say in 2020,” said John Morgan, a wealthy attorney who for a time contemplated a run for governor as a Democrat. “Trump knows that if Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the House, his life just got worse. And he knows that if DeSantis is elected governor, his life just got better.”
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