The Phoenix Flyer

Gillum and Nelson endorsed by Puerto Rico’s governor

By: - October 1, 2018 5:10 pm
Gillum and Nelson

Left: Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum. Right: Sen. Bill Nelson. Credit: Candidates’ campaign sites.

With both political parties fighting hard for the Puerto Rican vote in Florida in the Nov. 6 election,  the governor of Puerto Rico Monday endorsed two Florida Democrats: Andrew Gillum for governor and Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate.

The Nelson endorsement was a blow to Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Scott has traveled to Puerto Rico eight different times over the past year in the wake of Hurricane Maria. After the storm, thousands of Puerto Ricans relocated to  the Sunshine State.

“I believe in Bill Nelson,” Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said at a news conference in Orlando. “I am grateful for his longstanding relationship for the people of Puerto Rico and I am proud to say that I am endorsing Bill Nelson for, once again, being the senator of Florida and helping represent the people of Puerto Rico.”

In response, Scott’s  campaign issued a list of 59 Puerto Rican officials who have endorsed his candidacy, led by Republican Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, who charged that the Puerto Rican community only hears from Nelson when it’s election season.

She said it is “incredibly frustrating to see partisan politics being valued more than Puerto Rican families,” and that  “Governor Scott’s actions speak louder and truer than the endorsement of any one individual.”

Republican candidate for governor Ron DeSantis had his advocates tout his candidacy over Gillum, including Central Florida state Rep. Bob Cortes, the DeSantis campaign chair for Puerto Rican outreach.

“We have a clear choice in this election – Ron and I stand for more economic opportunity and better education for our children, while Andrew Gillum supports bigger government, higher taxes and less opportunities for our families,” Cortes said.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.