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By Patrick Murphy
Since the Aug. 28 primary, much of Florida’s political world has reacted strongly to the fact that the two nominees for governor – Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis – represent the ideological wings of their respective parties. While true, political observers are rushing to judgment in concluding that their wins are a sign that these candidates are equally extreme for Florida. Both are outsiders, but their views are not equally out of the mainstream.
Between the two candidates, one is advocating for expanded access to healthcare, sensible firearm safety laws following a series of devastating shootings, increasing teacher pay, and better environmental protections in the aftermath of devastating algae blooms. These positions are broadly popular with the Florida electorate. The other used his campaign primarily as a platform to flatter Donald Trump and began the general election with a racial dog-whistle to disparage his African-American opponent. While unengaged voters might view both candidates as outsiders pulling at opposite ends of a political rubber band that’s ready to snap, only one has laid out a platform that will positively impact the lives of Florida families.
It’s not even close.
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