Andrew Gillum visits FAU, encourages students to vote

The Florida governor hopeful and other Democrats running for office talked about their campaign platforms, and what they plan to do if they win.


Andrew Gillum, current mayor of Tallahassee and Democratic candidate for governor, speaks in front of a crowd of hundreds with Student Government members and other leaders of on-campus organizations behind him. Photo by Violet Castano

Nimisha Rajendran, Contributing Writer

Several hundred people filed into the Student Union auditorium Thursday to hear Florida Governor candidate Andrew Gillum speak on everything from public education to gun laws.

Hundreds of people attended the rally, cheering the candidates on. Photo by Violet Castano

The “Vote Early Vote Loud” rally revolved around Democratic candidates, featuring Congressman Ted Deutch, Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Florida Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw, and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried. Each focused on issues such as climate change, medical marijuana, gun reform, and criminal justice reform.

“Our lives, our state, and our country depend on [voting],” Fried said.

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried. Photo by Chris Blackshear

Tallahassee Mayor Gillum visited the Boca campus to encourage students to cast their ballot at FAU’s early voting location, according to his campaign spokeswoman Morgan Finkelstein. Out of Palm Beach County’s 14 early voting sites, FAU’s has performed the poorest with fewer than 500 people using it to vote, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Congressman Ted Deutch. Photo by Violet Castano

When Gillum approached the stage, he was met with a standing ovation from the crowd. He started off sharing his political stances and plans for the state if elected.

One issue he focused on was the state of the public school system and how education has the chance to “interrupt” poverty that has spread across several generations.

Gillum grew up as one of seven children and was the first to graduate from college. This motivated him to increase funding towards public schools, he said.

Finkelstein added, “[Gillum] knows that investing in education is investing in Florida’s future.”

Congresswoman Lois Frankel. Photo by Violet Castano

Gillum also emphasized his beliefs in universal background checks and other gun reform measures.

“I was literally sued [and] dragged through court for two years by the NRA and the gun lobby all because in my city we refused to repeal an ordinance which said you couldn’t shoot guns in city parks,” he said.

As he concluded his speech, Gillum was met with yet another standing ovation from the crowd, and was greeted by Student Government and other members of campus organizations.

FAU sophomore and rally attender Ana Ramos said, “It was an inspiring and insightful look into the future of our state.”

Nimisha Rajendran is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or any other stories, email [email protected].