The Phoenix Flyer

Next Gen launches $1 million digital ad campaign for Florida; Obama may stump for Georgia’s Abrams and Florida’s Gillum

By: - September 5, 2018 11:40 am

Billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer’s group NextGen America is about to invest more than $1 million in digital ads in Florida on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, the latest infusion of support from the San Francisco-based organization.

NextGen initially invested more than million dollars – plus an army of grassroots organizers – into Gillum’s campaign back in June and followed it up with several hundred thousand more in the last weeks of the primary campaign.

That outside support proved critical, as Gillum was outspent by all four of his Democratic opponents in the race for the nomination.

Gillum is running against Republican congressman Ron DeSantis for governor in November.

The race is going national. DeSantis’ campaign received a huge boost from the support of President Donald Trump earlier this year, and now there is a report that former President Barack Obama might campaign for Gillum this fall.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Obama is set to make several campaign appearances in advance of the midterms over the next couple of weeks in California, Pennsylvania and the Midwest, and Obama may come South as well.

Obama’s aides told the Times that the former president  is considering how best he can help out what the paper describes as “groundbreaking African-American candidates for governor like Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia.”

Obama won Florida in both 2008 and 2012, the second time by less than a percentage point over Mitt Romney. He made many appearances in the state during his two terms in office, and campaigned frequently in the influential Interstate 4 corridor between the Tampa Bay area and Orlando during both his campaigns for president.

Trump appeared before a raucous crowd on behalf of DeSantis in Tampa in late July, and his enthusiastic support was a huge boost to DeSantis, who was first elected to his Jacksonville-area seat in 2012.




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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.