Fla. Governor's Race: Democratic Nominee Andrew Gillum Calls Racist Robocalls Targeting Him 'Deeply Regrettable'

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, left, speaks to supporters as his wife R. Jai Gillum listens during a Democratic Party rally Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Orlando, Fla.
Photo: AP Photo/John Raoux

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said a racist robocall mocking him by featuring a man speaking in a stereotypical black dialect and jungle noises in the background was “deeply regrettable,” CNN reports.

The 78-second prerecorded message was paid for by a white supremacist and anti-Semitic video podcast hosted by Scott Rhodes of Idaho. It is not clear how many Florida residents received the call.


Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, told CNN’s State of the Union, “I have to tell you, I find this deeply regrettable.”

This call comes days after his GOP opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis, said that Florida voters should not “monkey this up” by electing Gillum as governor. Of course, he said it wasn’t racist—even though we all know it was racist.

Thing is, Gillum is not falling the divisive, race-baiting tactics. Here is what he said about the robocall and DeSantis’ remarks on State of the Union:

“We can have a challenge between ideas and around what we think the people of the state of Florida deserve,” Gillum later added. “What I don’t want the race to turn into is a race of name-calling. I want to make sure that we don’t racialize and, frankly, weaponize race as a part of the process, which is why I have called on my opponent to really work to rise above some of these things.”

Gillum added that “people are taking their cues” from DeSantis and President Donald Trump.

“We saw in Charlottesville (that) it can lead to dangerous outcomes,” he said, referencing last year’s lethal clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Virginia.


DeSantis and the racists he hopes to rally to the polls clearly see Gillum as a threat and are going directly to Donald Trump’s white supremacist playbook to gin up support. Gillum refuses to get in the mud and that is certainly a great strategy to win the governor’s mansion in November.

Share This Story

About the author

Terrell Jermaine Starr

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

PGP Fingerprint: 96A0 B682 0C58 FCF2 CC5E B729 3E17 B489 588F D26F