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Miami artist unveils mural of Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum

Tallahassee mayor, seen as a rising star, is trailing in the polls

MIAMI – Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum got a warm welcome in Miami as he returned to his birthplace Tuesday with only weeks to go before the Democratic primary.

Miami artist Disem painted a mural at Northeast 24th Street and North Miami Avenue in Wynwood in the candidate's honor.

"It just struck me. Especially as someone coming from Dade County as a minority that I could relate to.
I felt the need for a spotlight to show what they're doing," Disem said.

Gillum said he got a little choked up when he saw the mural.

"Just for me it serves as a reminder, a campaign like this is bigger than any one individual," he said.

The Tallahassee mayor was born in Miami, but moved to Gainesville as a child. He has held public office since 2003. Having just turned 39, he is the youngest candidate running for Florida governor and is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

However, going into this month's primary race, Gillum is lagging in the polls behind former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine and Palm Beach real estate mogul Jeff Greene. 

"I don't pay attention to polls. I pay attention to people," Gillum said.

Gillum just received the endorsement of 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders -- a big deal because Gillum had endorsed his rival, Hillary Clinton.

Gillum said Sanders, of Vermont, looked past politics and saw his message.

"We both agree that people ought to have health care as a right and not as a privilege. That education ought to be made available to all kids. That no one working a full time job should live on poverty wages."

Gilllum plans to return to Miami when early voting begins Monday.