Andrew Gillum couldn’t move.
The Democratic mayor of Tallahassee hoping to be Florida’s next governor stepped off his bus in Miami into a throng of 300 sweaty revelers ready for a “souls to the polls” march on the final day of early voting in South Florida.
But first, Gillum had to make way for a procession of motorcycles and the inevitable selfie requests.
Once the revving bikes made their way through crowd to lead Gillum down 22nd Avenue in Brownsville, the march began at a snail’s place as ushers attempted to get people marching behind Gillum and the lead line of elected officials. Jeremy Ring, the Democrat running for state Chief Financial Officer, found himself on the wrong side of the line and was ordered to the side.
“I’m running for CFO!” he shouted.
“Let him in,” a security guard responded.
As the procession picked up to a walking pace, the gospel singing began and a giant cardboard likeness of Gillum’s face bobbed up and down on a day where Democrats were hoping to use a last-minute push to beat Republicans at the ballot box.
Registered Democrats entered the day trailing registered Republicans in early-vote totals by a slim 28,000 vote margin, and the last-minute push by Gillum and Democrats across the state focused on black churches could give Democrats a tiny advantage in registration totals heading into Election Day. Republicans have held the early-voting advantage for years in Florida.
“At this point we’re typically five or so points behind Republicans in early vote and absentee vote,” Gillum said. “I think we’re a point behind, we’ve closed the gap substantially. Considering that Democrats lose the last few races by less than a point, we’re feeling great heading into Election Day.”
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.