The upcoming race for governor might be a litmus test for the future of Florida considering the drastic differences between the two candidates, Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum.
DeSantis grew up in Jacksonville, where he excelled academically. After graduating high school, he went to Yale, where he earned a BA in history.
After graduating from Yale in 2001, DeSantis went to Harvard Law School, earning his law degree in 2005.
After spending two years working various positions in the armed forces, DeSantis was assigned to SEAL Team One in 2007. DeSantis was deployed in Fallujah, Iraq, where he was Lieutenant Commander.
For his service, DeSantis received the Bronze Star Medal and the Iraq Campaign
Medal in 2010.
In 2012, DeSantis ran for Florida’s 6th Congressional District, which surrounds the city of Daytona. He won the election by a margin of 14 percent.
Gillum spent his childhood in Gainesville, Florida, in a household of nine. His mother worked as a school bus driver, and his father worked in construction.
After graduating high school, Gillum pursued a political science degree at Florida Agriculture and Mechanics University, a historically black university in Tallahassee.
In his senior year at FAMU, Gillum ran for Tallahassee City Commission. He ended up winning the race, becoming the youngest person elected to the commission.
Most notably, Gillum ran for mayor of Tallahassee in 2014. He won the general
Apart from being born and raised in Florida, DeSantis and Gillum are almost polar opposites. The two candidates heavily disagree on two key issues: financing and illegal immigration.
Gillum promised to raise Florida’s current minimum wage of $8.05 an hour to $15 an hour. Although a raise in minimum to $15 sounds appealing, typically, when there is spike in minimum wage, there is also a spike in unemployment.
Gillum also pledged to raise Florida’s corporate tax to 7.75 percent, which would be 41 percent increase from the current 5.50 percent.
Conversely, DeSantis wants to keep corporate taxes and minimum wage the same in order to not hinder the booming economy.
On the topic of immigration, Gillum also wants to abolish ICE, and make Florida a sanctuary for refugees. DeSantis, on the other hand, pledged to enforce a zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration statewide.
This election, the direction of Florida will either be in the hands of conservative Ron DeSantis or democratic-socialist Andrew Gillum. The question is this: who do you want steering the Sunshine State?