Tallahassee mayor and Florida’s Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum is continuing to make waves.
In the 24 hours after scoring a surprise victory on Tuesday, Gillum raised over $1 million. The candidate, who had consistently polled fourth out of the five Democratic candidates, had also struggled to raise any serious money leading up to clinching the nomination.
According to The Hill, Gillum’s strongest fundraising period had been between August 4 and 10, during which time he raised $509,391. By one count, the Gillum campaign had only spent $6.6 million by Tuesday, far less than his opponents.
Gillum himself recognized this disparity, telling voters in Miami last Saturday that his opponents had “spent, together, over $90 million in this race. We have spent four.” But, he pointed out, “money doesn’t vote. People do.”
After Tuesday’s primary, Gillum’s campaign had just $200,000 left. But then the money began to flow in. First, Gillum had a $1 million day. Then, within 48 hours, the campaign had raised more than $2 million in contributions—more than double its best week since Gillum announced his candidacy 18 months ago.
The significant influx of cash may also be an indirect result of an interview Gillum’s opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R), gave on Wednesday. DeSantis told Fox News that voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum. The comment immediately sparked a backlash, with DeSantis coming under fire for implying a racial slur.
If elected, Gillum would be Florida’s first African-American governor.