In Florida a poor response to a hurricane can quickly get an elected official tossed out of office. The Republican Party of Florida is using 2016’s Hurricane Hermine in calling Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum “unfit to serve.”
The hurricane hit Tallahassee in 2016, and despite being only a cat 1 storm most of Tallahassee was without power for up to six days. Tallahassee is known as a tree city.
As a new commercial points out, private utility companies offered to send assistance to help the city-owned utility company restore power to Florida’s Capitol. Mayor Andrew Gillum denied the offer.
With a large chunk of state employees without electricity, Governor Rick Scott intervened and the City of Tallahassee, once again, denied the offer for outside assistance.
In the Republican Party ad, a woman identified as Kathryn says, “Incompetence, or extreme politics, I don’t know. But leaders are supposed to help people in tough times. And Andrew Gillum, he didn’t help us. He failed us.”
Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis is using Gillum’s time as Tallahassee Mayor to question his leadership ability. Another new ad mentions Gillum’s record on raising property taxes, and there’s the on-going FBI investigation into public corruption within Tallahassee City Hall. Gillum has long claimed he’s not the subject of the FBI’s investigation, but has never explained why two undercover FBI agents went with him on a 2016 sightseeing tour of New York City.
New polling shows that most voters still don’t know a lot about Mayor Gillum. His come-from-behind win to capture the Democratic nomination left him unscathed in the primary from both his opponents and the media. It’s only now that his record is undergoing scrutiny. Every poll released since September shows Gillum with a lead over DeSantis, though the most recent surveys show the race tightening to a dead heat.