Gillum touts 'healthy relationship' with Scott during Hurricane Michael

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum told Hill.TV's "Rising" that he and Gov. Rick Scott (R) communicated regularly during Hurricane Michael and in recovery efforts that followed, saying other Floridians can learn from their bipartisan relationship. 

"I'm the mayor of a city that was impacted. He's the governor of the state of Florida. There are resources that we needed from him, there was information that he needed from me, and we were both being judged and measured on how well we could perform our respective jobs," Gillum, the current mayor of Tallahassee, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Saturday in an interview that aired Monday. 

"I think the scrutiny of him running for office, and also me running for office at the same time really caused us to have to focus less on the politics, and more on the jobs that each of us had to do," he continued. 

"The governor and I talked every day throughout the recovery effort from my community, and then toward the end of our conversations it became about, you know, 'mayor, we're going to need you all to step up for your neighboring counties because they're simply ravaged out here," he said.

"That was a good and healthy relationship, and I think that if there was something Floridians can learn about that, it is that during times of disaster, we forget our party labels and even the positions we're running for, and we got to do the job that we're in," he said. 

Scott is looking to unseat incumbent Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Officials overseeing elections should relinquish authority while running for office, says polling editor Rhetoric on voter fraud, suppression erodes confidence in elections, says polling editor MORE (D-Fla.) in November. 

"It is my hope that Senator Nelson heads to Washington, D.C.," Gillum told Simmons when asked whether he'd like to work with Scott next year. 

Nelson holds a 6-point lead over Scott in the state's U.S. Senate race with two weeks to go until Election Day, according to a poll released Monday.

Gillum also said he would be willing to reach across party lines to work with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: WHCA picking non-comedian for headliner a 'good first step' Five takeaways from Mississippi's Senate debate Watergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' MORE

"[Trump] and I probably don't agree on much about anything, but to the extent that something he does in Washington can help my state, I'm going to be right there to get that help," the Democrat told Simmons.

Gillum is facing off against former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Manual electoral process results in higher voter trust, says pollster DeSantis: GOP voters overcame 'blue wave' spurred by Andrew Gillum MORE (R-Fla.) in a tight race for Florida's governorship. 

According to a new poll from St. Pete Polls released Monday, Gillum leads DeSantis by 1 point, a statistically insignificant advantage. A poll last week from St. Pete Polls showed Gillum leading by 1.1 points. The race has been rated a "toss-up" by The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan elections forecaster.

He also touted his working relationship with Scott during a CNN debate with DeSantis on Sunday. 

“This is a democracy. We can dissent. We can disagree. If you want to look for an example, you can look at how Gov. Rick Scott and I worked together in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael,” Gillum said.

— Julia Manchester