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Gillum after upset win in Florida: ‘We can run wholly on our values’

Gillum after upset win in Florida: ‘We can run wholly on our values’
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Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) says that his surprise victory in Tuesday's gubernatorial Democratic primary in Florida shows that left-leaning members of his party can run on their values without fear of losing voters.

In an interview with CNN's "New Day," Gillum responded to questions from host John Berman on whether his candidacy, backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' On The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE (I-Vt.) against an establishment favorite, represented a shift to the left for the Democrats.

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"What we are clear about is that we can run wholly on our values," Gillum says. "We can talk to people in a common-sensical way about the issues that confront them, and quite frankly it doesn't matter if you're in the rural panhandle of Florida or the I-4 corridor."

Gillum's campaign endorsed a "Medicare-For-All" public health-care plan supported by Sanders as well as aggressive action on Florida's environmental issues and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), issues which set Gillum firmly to the left in his party and drew contrast from his more centrist opponent, Gwen GrahamGwendolyn GrahamModerate Democrats now in a race against the clock Dear Iowans: Apologies for Sen. Rick Scott's lack of decency Jimmy Buffett takes musical shots at Trump during concert MORE.

On Wednesday, Gillum said that his campaign's embrace of left-leaning causes gave voters a clear choice and a positive message to rally behind.

"We can talk about those things, excite our voters, and give them something to vote for, not just against," Gillum said, echoing criticism of the Democratic Party that suggests the party is too focused on being opposed to President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE.

Gillum edged out Graham by single digits Tuesday night after earlier this month winning the endorsement of Sanders, who traveled to the state to campaign for the candidate in the weeks leading up to the election.

"What has made Andrew’s campaign so powerful is that he’s not just working hard to win an election, he has laid out a vision for a new course for the state of Florida and our country. No one person can take on the economic and political elites on their own," Sanders said in a statement Tuesday night.

"Tonight, Floridians joined Andrew in standing up and demanding change in their community. That’s what the political revolution is all about and Andrew Gillum is helping to lead it."

Gillum, who is running to replace term-limited Gov. Rick Scott (R), will face Rep. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida newspaper blasts DeSantis's ban on COVID-19 passports: 'Makes no sense' Buttigieg hopes cruises will return by mid-summer The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip MORE (R-Fla.), who is backed by Trump, in November's general election.