Gillum launches voter registration drive in Florida

Drive aimed at beating Trump in 2020

WFTS via CNN

Andrew Gillum

(CNN) - Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who lost a bid for Florida governor in November, is launching a voter registration effort with the intent of denying Donald Trump a second term.

"We are going to commit ourselves to registering and engaging 1 million voters between now and the presidential election in 2020," Gillum told a crowd of supporters in Miami Gardens Wednesday.

Gillum, currently a CNN political commentator, argued that the "road to the White House runs through Florida."

"We can deny Donald Trump a second term right here in Florida," he said. Trump narrowly won Florida's 29 electoral votes in 2016.

The new voter registration group -- "Bring It Home Florida," named after Gillum's 2018 campaign slogan" -- aims to send Trump a message: "Sir, your eviction notice is served and you are out of the White House," Gillum told the crowd Wednesday.

"Now, how many states can you say, by themselves, have the ability to deny this man a return to the White House?" Gillum said. "I can't think of a better, bigger, better, greater, more important state than Florida for us to send that message."

He added, "We are uniquely situated to issue that eviction notice."

Gillum also issued a warning to state Republicans to "get their hands off" of Amendment 4, which restores the voting rights to felons not convicted of murder or a sexual offense after completing their sentences, including fines, parole or probation.

Gillum narrowly lost the Florida gubernatorial race in November to Republican Ron DeSantis, conceding after a protracted fight that included a statewide ballot recount. The campaign, however, made Gillum a household name in national Democratic politics.

Gillum on Wednesday made clear that despite the push from supporters, he's not going to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 but will instead commit himself to the mission of building a voter network and "flipping Florida blue."

"This isn't the sexy work, I got to admit. I'm sure it's probably more fun for some of those out there running for president," Gillum said, adding, "This is the hard work of democracy."

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