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 SandersFormer Obama speechwriter Favreau: 'Hilarious' some media outlets calling Harris a moderate Trump to counter DNC with travel to swing states Progressives look to flex their muscle in next Congress after primary wins MORE (I), who also campaigned alongside the Tallahassee mayor in Tampa and Orlando during the Democratic primary.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcGrath reshuffles campaign in home stretch to Senate election Appeals court blocks Hillary Clinton deposition on private email server What Biden must do to keep his lead and win MORE is also scheduled to campaign alongside Gillum in the coming weeks. 

Polls have consistently shown Gillum holding a lead over former Rep. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDeSantis compares reopening schools to killing Osama bin Laden Marlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Florida sheriff bans deputies from wearing masks after refusing to enforce order MORE (R) in the race to replace Gov. Rick Scott (R). DeSantis, a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days 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.