Mayor Gillum upbeat over local campaign headquarters for Clinton
By Haylee Bell
Anyone wondering just how energetic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum gets when he is on the road campaigning for Hillary Clinton should have been at the opening of a local campaign headquarter for the Democratic presidential candidate.
Gillum was in full throttle when it was his turn to speak at the small office building on 302 W Jefferson Street. Never mind that a thunderstorm limited the crowed to about 100 people.
“First of all, I’m extremely excited to see the campaign has opened in Tallahassee,” said Gillum, who has campaigned nationally for Clinton in recent months. “We are known as a more Democratic county, but in these elections particularly in the state of Florida, every single vote matters.
“So having this office here allows the folks in this community to connect to the campaign. To phone bank, to walk door to door, to really put their blood, sweat and tears into making sure that Hillary Clinton is elected the next president of the United States.”
During his spirited speech Gillum encouraged his audience that their participation as volunteers is needed to help give Clinton a better-than-average chance of winning.
“What we got to do is make sure that voters know that Hillary Clinton has a message,” he said. “She has a message to end this prison industrial complex that tends to keep our Black and brown brothers locked up in a disproportionate rate that their representation in the population. Hillary Clinton is an advocate for families and children and has an agenda to lift all Americans and not just a few.”
The message from the Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant was more succinct, as she reminded the crowd that the mission is to stop Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“We are the ones at the gate stopping the worst elements of Trump and his kind of presidency from taking over,” said Tant. “It’s going to take every single one of us doing our part. We’ve done this before and we’re going to do it again.”
They will have plenty of work to do to help Clinton widen the gap shown in recent polls. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll released Friday showed Clinton leads Trump by a margin of 44 percent to 37 percent in a head-to-head matchup in Florida.
However, Clay Middleton, the regional political director, said the stakes are too high for this election to be taken for granted. He added that the Clinton campaign will open additional officers throughout Florida in coming weeks, including another one in Leon County.
He called the opening this past week an achievement.
“Mission accomplished for us because we are here, people know where we are, you can talk to any organizer here,” Middleton said. “In terms of how many people signed up we’re very happy.”