Obama endorses Andrew Gillum in Florida governor race

Obama endorses Andrew Gillum in Florida governor race
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Former President Obama on Monday endorsed Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Florida governor.

Obama announced his endorsement of Gillum along with a list of 259 other candidates he was backing up and down the ballot.

“Andrew believes that health care is a right, not a privilege and he will make expanding Medicaid a priority on day one as governor,” Obama said on his backing the current Mayor of Tallahassee in a statement obtained by CNN.

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Obama again made note of Gillum's commitment to health care later in the statement while also pointing to the gubernatorial hopeful's stances on education, the environment and economy.

“Andrew will expand access to affordable health care, protect Floridians with pre-existing conditions, invest in education, protect the environment and build an economy that works for all,” continued Obama. 

Obama’s endorsement makes him the third heavy hitter backing the Florida Democrat. 

Earlier this year, Gillum won the endorsement of Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders Ocasio-Cortez throws support to Sanders at Queens rally MORE (I), who also campaigned alongside the Tallahassee mayor in Tampa and Orlando during the Democratic primary.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJill Stein: 'I am not a Russian spy' Trump criticizes Clinton for suggesting Jill Stein was Russian asset Graham: I'm seeking to make Trump successful 'but not at all costs' MORE is also scheduled to campaign alongside Gillum in the coming weeks. 

Polls have consistently shown Gillum holding a lead over former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida gov says arrested Giuliani associate was seen as a top Trump supporter in the state Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics WHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets MORE (R) in the race to replace Gov. Rick Scott (R). DeSantis, a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE, stepped down from Congress last month to focus on the campaign.

A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Gillum with a 4.5-point lead.