Andrew Gillum, Florida Dem gubernatorial candidate, picks Chris King as running mate
Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum chose one of his primary opponents as his running mate Thursday, filling out both tickets for the closely watched November matchup against Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis.
Mr. Gillum chose Chris King, a “progressive entrepreneur” from Winter Park who made his fortune building “affordable housing to seniors and working families in Florida and across the southeastern United States,” according to the Gillum campaign.
Mr. King immediately denounced the “divisive politics of Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump,” in his acceptance remarks, thereby highlighting how the Florida race is widely seen as a sort of potential 2020 blueprint pitting Mr. Gillum, and his Bernie Sanders-backed left-wing platform, against Mr. DeSantis who enjoys the enthusiastic support of President Trump.
The campaigns are required by state law to announce their full tickets Thursday, and Mr. DeSantis’ choice has leaked out this week. His running mate will be Jeannette Nunez, 46, a Miami representative at the State House in Tallahassee.
Ms. Nunez, a Cuban-American who backed Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2016 presidential race and sent hostile tweets against Mr. Trump during the race, fulfills numerous goals on Mr. DeSantis’ ticket.
For one thing, her base is also in the area where Mr. Gillum ran strongest in the Democratic primary, and the fact she would be the first Cuban-American to hold the No. 2 in-state position counters Mr. Gillum’s appeal as the state’s first African-American governor. Her past work with Mr. Rubio, who reportedly urged Ms. Nunez to accept Mr. DeSantis’ offer, also helped unite Republicans in Florida, and was hailed by many supporters of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, whom Mr. DeSantis defeated in the GOP primary.