Green group backs Gillum in Florida governor race
The nation’s largest environmental group endorsed Democrat Andrew Gillum in his race to become Florida’s governor.
The Sierra Club backed the progressive Tallahassee mayor days after the Republican in the race, former congressman Ron DeSantis, released an environmental plan that the group panned as inadequate.
Sierra Club slammed DeSantis’s plan for not mentioning climate change, and said it was inadequate in areas like stopping offshore drilling near Florida and tackling the state’s toxic algae problem.
“Gillum established a strong track record of environmental protection while Mayor of Tallahassee,” Frank Jackalone, director of the Sierra Club’s Florida chapter, said in a statement.
“He has a wonderful, refreshing vision for protecting Florida’s natural treasures, combatting the causes of climate change, and ensuring clean air and water for our families and our wildlife.”
Gillum won the Democratic nomination for the gubernatorial race last month in a surprise upset against Rep. Gwen Graham.
He holds progressive positions, supporting a “Medicare for All” healthcare plan and a $15 minimum wage. He would be Florida’s first black governor.
On climate, Gillum wants to move the state to clean energy as quickly as possible and has criticized numerous environmental policy moves by President Trump, such as his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.
Florida is uniquely impacted by climate change and other environmental problems, owing to its long coastline and low elevation, among other factors.
DeSantis told the Tampa Bay Times this week that he is a “Teddy Roosevelt-style” conservationist, and criticized left-wing environmental policies.
“I’m not somebody that thinks you just throw a lot of red tape and it solves problems but there are instances where you can do a targeted approach that could make a difference,” he said, according to the Times.
A Rasmussen Reports poll released Friday found Gillum up 6 percentage points over DeSantis, at 48 percent to 42 percent.