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) SandersAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence MORE (I), who also campaigned alongside the Tallahassee mayor in Tampa and Orlando during the Democratic primary.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rips Krugman, NYT after columnist writes GOP no longer believes in American values Klobuchar jokes to Cuomo: 'I feel you creeping over my shoulder' but 'not in a Trumpian manner' Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment 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 DeSantisNew governors chart ambitious paths in first 100 days GOP leaders dead set against Roy Moore in Alabama Workers find 27 possible graves near Florida's oldest reform school MORE (R) in the race to replace Gov. Rick Scott (R). DeSantis, a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers 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.