88ºF

Candidates for governor rally in South Florida on last day of early voting

DeSantis campaigns in Boca Raton, while Gillum joins march in Miami-Dade

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Candidates for Florida governor and their surrogates hit the campaign trail Sunday in South Florida on the last day of early voting for Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Many early voting polling places in both counties saw long lines ahead their 7 p.m. closing times. One site in North Miami had about 400 people in line after several printers broke down.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum campaigned at a church service in North Miami and at a march in Liberty City alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton. 

He urged supporters to not only cheer for him, but to bring their enthusiasm to the ballot box. 

"We're trying our best to win this race on a high note. I've said throughout this campaign, we're working to give voters something to vote for, not against," Gillum said.

Later, Gillum appeared with actresses Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Gina Rodriguez and Zoe Saldana at an event in Miami's Little Havana.

Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis campaigned with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at a rally in Boca Raton. DeSantis also appeared with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in South Daytona.

"A great state like Florida needs a leader who can build on Gov. (Rick) Scott's success. More jobs, lower taxes, safer communities and support for our police," Giuliani, who now serves as President Donald Trump's personal attorney, said.

Polls show a tight race between Gillum and DeSantis, with the Tallahassee mayor with a slight lead in most surveys.

Earlier, Sharpton spoke at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, urging worshippers to vote in the midterm elections.

"People gave their lives and their freedom to give us the right to vote. And here we not only have the right to vote, but we can vote early," Sharpton said. "And some us are not exercising it. No reason to ask God to give you more blessings if you haven't used the blessings he has already given you." 

He also spoke in support of Amendment 4. The ballot question could restore voting rights to 1.4 million of Florida’s 1.68 million felons. Amendment 4 would only apply to those who have completed their sentences. People convicted of murder or sex offenses would still be prohibited from voting.

"We believe as people of God in restoration," Sharpton said. "People that have made mistakes, people that have done time, people that have become felons have the right to be restored."

Bonna Richardson, a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, said she planned to vote early after Sunday's services. 

"It's very important to vote. Not voting is like not breathing," Richardson said. "I want to early vote because lines are only going to get longer, so I'm going to go after church."

The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke in support of Amendment Four at a church Sunday in Miami Gardens.
The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke in support of Amendment Four at a church Sunday in Miami Gardens.

About the Authors: