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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 SandersSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' Democrats hit crucial stretch as filibuster fight looms GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories MORE (I), who also campaigned alongside the Tallahassee mayor in Tampa and Orlando during the Democratic primary.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights 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 DeSantisACLU sues Florida over law targeting ballot initiatives Montana governor approves restrictions on transgender athletes in schools Advocates sound alarm as restrictive voting laws pile up MORE (R) in the race to replace Gov. Rick Scott (R). DeSantis, a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors 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.