New round of racist robocalls targets Gillum campaign

They're similar to earlier calls that portrayed candidate with racist dialect

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

MIAMI - People in Florida are reporting receiving a new round of racist robocalls impersonating Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum.

The calls claimed to be from Road to Power, a white supremacist group based in Idaho that is behind other robocall campaigns in Pennsylvania and other states. People in Florida reported receiving similar calls targeting the Gillum campaign in August.

Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, is running to become Florida's first black governor, against former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Jacksonville-area Republican.

Cynthia Moore Chestnut, a former Florida lawmaker from Gainesville, called the robocalls a "low-down dirty trick."

"I just received a very insulting robocall with a person speaking in what they considered Negro dialect impersonating Andrew Gillum, promising all the chicken feet we wanted," she wrote in a Facebook post. "Vote like your life depended on it to protect us from insulting folk like this."

(WARNING - The following audio contains material that some may find offensive.)

ABC News has obtained audio of the most recent call.

"Well hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I'll be askin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida," the voice says on the call. Later the call contains sound effects of monkey noises.

“These disgusting, abhorrent robocalls represent a continuation of the ugliest, most divisive campaign in Florida’s history,” Geoff Burgan, a spokesman for Gillum, said. “We would hope that these calls, and the dangerous people who are behind them, are not given any more attention than they already have been.”

The DeSantis campaign also condemned the calls.

“I don’t think there should be racial rhetoric,” DeSantis said Tuesday at an event in Orlando. He said that when you’re serving the country, everyone wears the same flag regardless of race saying, “and as governor, I think it has to be the same thing."

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