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Andrew Gillum Discusses Transportation, Teacher Pay In Tampa

Roberto Roldan
WUSF Public Media
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum faces Gwen Graham, Chris King and Phillip Levine for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum was questioned on issues such as transportation and teacher wages at a Tampa community forum on Friday.

Gillum took aim at Gov. Rick Scott, saying he would never turn down federal funding for public transportation projects in Florida. He told an audience at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa Friday morning that the solution to Florida's transit woes will lie in light rail and busses, not larger highways.

"We are not going to be able to asphalt our way out of the future transportation needs of this state," he said.

If elected, Gillum said he wants to bring about a shift in thinking at the Florida Department of Transportation to focus more on public transportation. A state project called Tampa Bay Next has seen opposition from a number of Tampa residents for focusing on toll lanes rather than improved public transportation.

When asked about the recent dispute between Hillsborough teachers and the county school board over teacher pay, Gillum promised to increase funding for schools and boost teacher's wages if he becomes governor.

"The more that we suck money from our public school districts and move that money to be shared with corporately run, private for-profit institutions we're going to see more of the same, not just in Hillsborough County, but all of the state of Florida," he said. 

Gillum also gave his support to the movement to restore felon voting rights in Florida.

He faces Gwen Graham, Chris King and Phillip Levine for the Democratic nomination.

Roberto Roldan is a senior at the University of South Florida pursuing a degree in mass communications and a minor in international studies.
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