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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenate Dems introduce bill to prevent Trump from using disaster funds to build wall Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' MORE (I), who also campaigned alongside the Tallahassee mayor in Tampa and Orlando during the Democratic primary.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up McCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on 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 secretary of state who resigned apologizes for blackface photos The Hill's Morning Report — Trump complicates border wall negotiations Parkland parents ask Pulitzer panel to honor local paper for school shooting coverage MORE (R) in the race to replace Gov. Rick Scott (R). DeSantis, a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job 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.