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Read our current and previous coverage of the 2018 election season as you prepare to cast your ballot. You'll find information on important races, explanations of constitutional amendments and details of local referendums.

Bernie Sanders Whips Up Progressives For Andrew Gillum

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders drew a couple of thousand people to Tampa's Armature Works today. It's part of a push to get a "progressive" candidate in the governor's mansion.

Sanders drew a large crowd in support of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who's running on the Democratic ticket for governor. Sanders scored several points with the crowd when he touched on issues that are near and dear to progressive voters: health care for all. Free college tuition. Solar Power. And living wages.

"And Andrew understands that instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, we're going to invest in our children, we're going to invest in public education," he said. "And we're going to make the teaching profession the important profession that it deserves to be."

Whether this boost from Sanders will help Gillum remains to be seen. He's trailing in most polls, behind former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

Gillum said it will "take a village" to get him into the governor's mansion.

Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media
Bernie Sanders whirls into the crowd

"The other folks in this race believe that they've got this race walking away," he said, speaking before Sanders. "But we've got another thing coming for them. We're going to show up. The progressive movement in this state is going to show up like we have never shown up before and we're going to flip this state blue."

Gillum echoed much of what Sanders backs. He spoke about Medicare for all, working to battle climate change, promoting solar energy and fighting everything from Stand Your Ground to substandard wages.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.