Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum made history Tuesday night.
Gillum is the first African-American gubernatorial candidate of a major party to win the nomination in Florida history.
“I um, I gotta tell you all. I am overwhelmed,” Gillum told a crowd of supporters at a watch party after his victory was declared. “Our story for me began down in Richmond Heights in Miami-Dade County. To my mother Francis who’s here with me, who was a school bus driver. And my daddy Charles.”
Gillum will face off against Republican Ron DeSantis in the November General Election. DeSantis has received support from President Trump who congratulated him on his win Wednesday morning via Twitter.
Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream….a failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city. This is not what Florida wants or needs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
Gillum was fire back.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) August 29, 2018
The shockwave of Gillum jumping from fourth in some polls to first was felt in Miami where he once called home.
His slogan “Bring It Home” is just what he did. Supporters at this watch party in North Miami at Cafe Creme were ecstatic for the young progressive. Each with different reasons why they were pulling for the 39-year-old.
“As a child of an immigrant parent from Port Au Prince, Haiti, Andrew Gillum will stand up for immigrants here in Florida,” said one woman.
“From healthcare to a living wage, I’m married to a teacher, I want my wife to bring home a fair wage,” said another woman.
At the MLK Restaurant in Overtown, where Gillum is known to stop in when he’s in town, both the workers and patrons were excited about his win.
Kathy Hill, who works there said she voted for him in hopes that the bigger picture is realized.
“I’ve seen him and heard him and I think he’s good for the community and will make the world a better place,” she said.
For the past 18 months, Gillum and his team have crisscrossed the state, talking about issues that resonated with voters.
In an interview Wednesday morning on CNN, Gillum said those issues are important, “Paying teachers, healthcare for all, ensuring that people with one job can make a living off that income.”
His last stop in South Florida was on Sunday was at The Bethel Church in Richmond Heights. Pastor Carlos Malone said he thinks he knows why Gillum won.
“That’s what got him here, he didn’t get here because he had the money for the popularity, he got here because he spoke to people’s problems and pain and gave them hope,” he said.
Organizers and other politicians understand what comes next and how to keep the momentum going.
“We’re the come from behind candidate with no money. We understand big hurdles and we have no problem with that,” said Millie Raphael, a Gillum campaign volunteer in Miami-Dade.
“Fighting for the people. That’s what Gillum did and he excited the base. That’s exactly why I think he’s going to be the next governor of Florida. We’re going to make history,” said state Senator Annette Taddeo:
Gillum’s opponents have rallied around his win, offering their support for the upcoming November election.