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Gillum Moving Forward: Managing mayorship while running for governor

Gillum Moving Forward: Managing mayorship while running for governor
Gillum Moving Forward: Managing mayorship while running for governor
Posted at 4:13 PM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 11:50:16-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - It was an historic night in Tallahassee Tuesday night, as Mayor Andrew Gillum beat out political legacy, Gwen Graham, for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

Less than 45,000 votes separated the two candidates. 

Gillum is now the first ever black nominee for governor in the state of Florida.  

He still has a few city commission meetings left, including some critical workshops and hearings about the budget.

But it's clear his focus will be on the campaign trail. 

Mayor Gillum was able to win Leon County with 46 percent of the vote.

Former mayor John Marks told us Gillum will need to raise more money, which means he'll be out of town more often.

Marks said the notion that Gillum is neglecting the city's needs is "hogwash," but that the mayor will need to balance his duties with his ambitions. 

"Delicately, let me put it that way. He has to be very conscious of what's needed for locally here, what's needed locally in the city of Tallahassee, and obviously, he's going to have to campaign up until November," said Marks. "So, it's going to be a daunting task, it's going to be difficult, but Andrew can do it." 

Marks also said part of Gillum's big win was reaching millennials across the state, taking advantage of social media and the thousands of college students here in Tallahassee. 

We also talked to Jon Ausma for some perspective. He's the longest-serving member of the Democratic National Committee in Florida.

He said Gillum has a progressive voice and mission that the Sunshine State needs and in order to win the governor's race, he'll have to spend time away from Tallahassee.

Ausman said Gillum is the one who can break Florida's 20-year stretch of Republican governors. 

"Andrew needs to bring it home. I mean, he knows that he's in another 60 days of campaigning. He needs to campaign as hard as he can every single day. He needs to raise the resources necessary in order for him to get his message out -- and he needs to stay on point," said Ausman. He should not shift much more towards the middle. He should stay on his progressive side to get people enthused." 

Ausman said the city will continue to run even if Gillum isn't in town. 

Gillum's Chief of Staff confirmed to us that Gillum's last day as mayor will be Nov. 19. 

We also contacted his campaign office to speak with him, but didn't get a response.