Broward Demo Activist: Why Florida Democrats Need To Nominate Gillum for Governor







The 2016 Presidential election will be dissected by political pundits for a generation. Already copious amounts of ink has been dedicated to discussing the destruction of the Democratic Party and how it can be rebuilt. The dominant theory is that Hillary was simply an extremely flawed candidate who represented the status quo amid a desire for change. But talk of emails, Benghazi, and Bill misses the point. Yes, those were all factors that taken collectively solidified Hillary as a corrupt insider in the minds of many voters. But the real tragedy was that Democrats had returned to the failed playbook of nominating someone who was unable to inspire the youth and progressives.

I am currently 34. In my voting lifetime the national Democratic Party has nominated only one candidate, Barack Obama that energized my generation.

In 2000 Nader was the trendy pick. 2004 brought Howard Dean. And last year the Obama energy migrated to Bernie Sanders.

Is it sheer coincidence that success only came in 2008 and 2012? Obama was a singular political talent but a larger message can be gleaned. We Democrats ignore young and progressive voters at our peril.

Which brings me to the race for Governor in 2018. In the 10 years I have lived in Florida (and even before that) the Florida Democratic Party has made the same mistake as the national party, eventually even nominating a former Republican to be our candidate. In retrospect the 2012 gubernatorial election was in some ways a harbinger of 2016.

Now, given the list of announced and speculated candidates 2018 is already shaping up to be an epic battle for the right to go against Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, a Republican. Policies and prescriptions will likely be indistinguishable among the candidates on numerous issues. The question for Florida Democrats is which candidate will give the party the best chance to win.

The answer is Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee who launched his race for governor last week.


Andrew Gillum


What Gillum lacks in name recognition and bankroll (as of now) is more than made up for by his intelligence, energy, passion, and charisma. He has a compelling life story and is the only candidate capable of energizing young people and progressives. In the end 90% of the voters in each major party come home each election cycle. Most statewide elections are won and lost on the margins. Florida Democrats have a 200,000-registered voter advantage over Republicans, but they haven’t occupied the governor’s mansion in 18 years. Maybe it is time to try something new.

I hope we learn the lessons of 2016. I hope we learn the lessons of past gubernatorial elections. I hope we nominate Andrew Gillum in 2018.


(Jason Kruszka is a criminal defense attorney practicing death penalty appellate litigation in Broward county. He is originally from Wisconsin and is a 2009 graduate of FSU College of Law. He is also a member of the Broward Democratic Party, the West Broward Democratic Club, and the Broward Young Democrats.) 


What others are saying about Gillum’s candidacy can be seen linked here. 

7 Responses to “Broward Demo Activist: Why Florida Democrats Need To Nominate Gillum for Governor”

  1. Never heard of him says:

    This author has less relevance than the last “Activist” you wrote about in your previous blog. If you are going to start blogging about every opinionated self proclaimed activist in Broward you will need to start hiring some more help.

  2. The Path says:

    I agree with Mr. Kruszka. The other way hasn’t worked for years so it is time to give Progressives a chance to lead the party.

  3. You Forgot Bergeron says:

    Our next governor will not be Putnam. It will be Ron Bergeron from right here.

  4. Silly Season says:

    Never heard of this “activist” and probably never will again. Gillum has more baggage than one of those Port Everglades cruise ships, just look at his first week.

    This race will come down to Graham vs Levine.

    Which means unless the Rs find another business type self funder who is a woman, there will be another Graham in Governor’s Mansion l.


    You are forgetting another Democrat — John Morgan, the Orlando lawyer who bankrolled two statewide marijuana amendments.

    On the Republican side, there is the overwhelming favorite Florida Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam. He can raise money from the deep-pocketed state Ag industry and has run two statewide campaigns already.

    There there is House Speaker Richard Corcoran and state Sen. Jack Latvala from the Bay area.

    There has also been talk about developer Ron Bergeron of Weston running for the Republican nomination.

  5. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    at the end there Buddy when you state that he represents death row inmates. Oh kinda states in it for the money,honey. These men woman,who knows have committed such henoius ,barbaric crimes,were tried,convicted and sentenced(death)and comes Atty.Kruszka. to save them from being fried. Really sir talk w/ the victims families . As far as him endorsing this mayor from Tallahassee ,gee thanks….

  6. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    If Richard Corcoran gets his agenda through Session, he’ll win hands down.

  7. just saying says:

    Bergeron may have name recognition and support from Broward but the other 66 counties don’t know him, and seldom trust and vote for S FL candidates.


    Largely correct. He does have businesses in other parts of the state, but he is not as well known as an individual as here.