Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Andrew Gillum could have been the first African American governor in the history of Florida. Indeed, the last time this degree of historical significance graced a candidate, he won the Presidency of the United States.
But Andrew Gillum's race turned out differently. Tallahassee's mayor had an excellent performance in his primary election defeating Florida darling Gwen Graham when many felt he couldn't. Gillum exceeded all expectations, and he did it at a fraction of the cost.
Why Gillum won the primary will be the object of endless discussion and debate, but in the end, the qualities that put him over the top in the primary were the same ones that doomed him in the general.
Gillum ran on plans to make Florida a sanctuary state, to implement an income tax, and to turn the Florida Supreme Court Progressive. The prospects of those changes were too repugnant to Floridians. Florida is an extremely diverse state, but in the face of one of the greatest economies in the country and Floridians' aversion to a state income tax the prospect of turning in a polarly opposite direction was too much for the electorate.
With no experience in Florida government, the Republican candidate and soon to be governor, Ron Desantis, will have a difficult transition from his present duties as a congressman. But perhaps the easiest task for him is arguably the most substantial, picking three conservative Supreme Court judges. A Gillum win would have maintained and rejuvenated the Court's liberal majority. But now, the 4-3 votes will become 1-6 for the liberals; sweet justice for social conservatives and strict constitutionalists who have seen their legislations recurrently blown up by a hostile court. Oh, and let's not forget the chilling effect the new Court will have on redistricting challenges by the Democrats a mere three years away.
For Republicans, there is great hope in a DeSantis governorship, but like President Trump, the effect on the Florida Supreme Court alone will suffice in making this win worthwhile.
Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.