Do Republicans Have Any Idea Who DeSantis Is?

    Hi, everybody!

    ThinkProgress is a news website sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization.  Earlier today, ThinkProgress reported that Florida’s Republican nominee for governor, Rep. Ron DeSantis, was one of the administrators of a racist, Islamophobic, and conspiratorial Facebook group which shared posts slamming Parkland shooting survivors and disparaging Black Lives Matter activists.  Do Republicans have any idea who they have chosen as their candidate for Governor?

On a better note, I wanted to congratulate Michael Gottlieb on his successful campaign in the Primary for State Representative in District 98, and to recognize the other candidates for the hard-fought campaigns they ran.  I especially want to mention Andrew Dolberg, who I personally know worked as hard as he could.  He left it all out there!  Allow me to share with you Andrew’s Facebook post which talks more about Andrew Gillum than it does about his losing campaign:

“I’m going to have a few sprawling posts over the next few days because running for office was an amazing experience and there’s a lot I want to share.

But this post is about Andrew Gillum.

I had been following Gillum’s campaign since mid-2017 and was impressed by both the man and his message. When I finally had the chance to see him live in November, I was beyond impressed. This was a real person, not a cookie cutter candidate, who was speaking from his heart. He was sharp and had an incredible vision for our future.

He gave me hope.

I basically ran up to him to make sure I had the chance to say a quick hello and take a selfie before he (I assumed) ran off to his next event. But Andrew Gillum wasn’t rushing off. He stuck around and had a short conversation with absolutely anyone that wanted to meet him.

When it was my turn, he introduced himself and gave me a hug. We talked for a few minutes about his experience as a young political upstart, our views on voting rights and gerrymandering, and the importance of authenticity in a progressive message. I told him I wanted to support him and asked how I could help. He said “I can tell you’re willing to work hard, I like that.”

During the conversation, I felt like he truly cared. He cared about the community. He cared about our future. He cared about me, a random 24-year-old at one of eight thousand events he would attend throughout his campaign.

I called everyone I knew with one message: “This guy is the real deal.”

I started volunteering on his campaign. I worked hard and eventually opened his Broward field office. In conversations with him and with his team, I learned about policy issues, I learned about communications and field, and I learned about myself. Most importantly, I learned from Andrew Gillum that if you believe in something and you’re willing to put in the work, do it.

I was 200% committed to working with his amazing team to help Andrew Gillum cross the finish line. Then my State House Representative announced that she would not seek re-election.

If you believe in something and you’re willing to put in the work, do it. I believed that I could bring change to my community. I believed that I had ideas for new approaches to policy. I believed that I could do the work. And I was told by A LOT of people exactly what Andrew Gillum was told when he decided to run for City Council at 23 and when he decided to run for Governor: “It’s not your time.”

Andrew Gillum inspired me to say “yes, it is.” He was one of the first people I called once I made the decision. I apologized profusely for stepping back from his campaign and he said “don’t worry about me, go win.” He gave me some sagely advice and reminded me to be true to myself.

There’s only two things I can say for certain about my race:

1) I’m proud of the campaign I ran and I worked as hard as I possibly could have.

2) I would not have run if not for Andrew Gillum.

This story is personal but it is not unique. Every single person who has seen him, who has heard him speak, who has met him, who has worked with him, or who has listened to rants about what he means for our future has been inspired by Andrew Gillum in their own personal way.

Over the next few weeks, pundits are going to dissect every variable of this race to figure out how they were so wrong. They’re going to say the polls didn’t account for x, y, and z. They’re going to say it’s the Blue Wave. They’re going to come up with 10,000 reasons, and they’re all going to be wrong. Last night’s result comes down to one thing:

Andrew Gillum is an inspiration.”

    Well said, Andrew!


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