Tallahassee, FL – In another sign Florida candidates are seeking to solidify support among Hispanic voters, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and Republican nominee Ron DeSantis have agreed to square off in a debate hosted by Telemundo.
The hour-long, Oct. 16 debate will be broadcast at 7 p.m. on Telemundo stations in Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach and will be streamed online.
The debate will be taped in Orlando and moderated by Telemundo 31 news anchor Carlos Rausseo and Telemundo 51 senior political reporter Marilys Llanos.
The candidates have also agreed to an Oct. 24 face-off at Broward College.
Telemundo is also hosting a debate today (October 2nd) between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and his opponent, Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican trying to unseat the veteran lawmaker.
Nelson and Gillum – who campaigned in Flagler County over the weekend – were among a number of Democrats across the country to get the backing of former President Barack Obama on Monday.
“Today, I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something – to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor, and compassion to public service,” Obama tweeted. “They deserve your vote.”
Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, is hoping to follow in Obama’s history-making footsteps by becoming Florida’s first black governor.
In a statement, Obama called Gillum, who is facing off against Republican Ron DeSantis in November, “a proven fighter with the courage and determination to stand up for Florida families.”
Gillum “developed a thriving innovation economy, grew workforce training programs, and built safe communities where our children can thrive — a strong record for which I named Tallahassee a TechHire city,” the former president said.
Obama called Nelson, who is being challenged by Gov. Rick Scott, “a person of honesty and integrity who treats public office as a public trust.”
President Donald Trump has long been a supporter of both Scott and DeSantis, a former congressman.
Other Democratic candidates in Florida getting backing from Obama include incumbent U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park and candidates Nancy Soderberg of St. Augustine, Chris Hunter of Trinity, Lauren Baer of Palm Beach Gardens and Debbie-Mucarsel-Powell of Miami.
Obama also endorsed a slew of Democrats seeking election or re-election to the state House and Senate.
With candidates highlighted from 28 other states in addition to Florida, this is the second round of candidates from across the country to land Obama’s endorsement for the current election cycle.