NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 FLORIDA GOVERNOR’S RACE

Ron DeSantis (R)
Andrew Gillam (D)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters and Ballotready.org. For more detailed information visit their votesmart.org pages. Visit rondesantis.com and andrewgillum.com to volunteer. Other gubernatorial candidates include Darcy Richardson (Reform Party). Due to limited space, we can only include candidates who poll 15% or higher, but encourage you to check out his website. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.


Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

DeSantis – Ban. Pledges to sign legislation banning abortions after fetal heartbeat detected (roughly 6 weeks) & to appoint constitutionalist justices to FL Supreme Court who will “protect & defend life.”

Gillum – Legal. Abortion is a woman’s unrestricted right and decision should be made by women & their doctors – not by politicians. Opposes making healthcare harder for women to access.

 

Climate Change: Consider climate change a serious threat?

DeSantis – Mixed. “I don’t know if it’s because of my activity, your activity, but…we’ve got to deal with it.” Opposed resolution saying greenhouse gases contributed to climate change.

Gillum – Climate change is a real & urgent threat. Transition Florida to clean energy. “We’re going to put science first & work together to not only save our planet but create clean energy jobs along the way.”

 

Climate Change: Limit or tax production of greenhouse gases?

DeSantis – No. Voted against any potential carbon tax as negatively impacting economy, voted against greenhouse gas emission standards, & to cut EPA funding.

Gillum – Yes. Sees Trump withdrawal from Paris Climate accord as “disturbingly reckless.” Join Climate Alliance of states committed to fighting climate change.

 

Contraception: Allow employers to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if disagree with it morally?

DeSantis – Yes. Employers should not be required to “pay for abortifacients in violation of their faith.”

Gillum – No. Proposes a law to protect women’s access to no-cost contraceptive care under Obamacare.

 

Criminal Justice: Support Amendment #4 – a Florida initiative to restore voting rights to 1.6 million former felons, excluding murderers & sex offenders?

DeSantis – No. Opposes amendment.

Gillum – Yes. “Floridians who have paid their debts deserve a second chance & should have a voice in our state’s future. Our current system is a relic of Jim Crow.”

 

Courts: Support President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh? Position on 3 pending openings for FL Supreme Court Justices?

DeSantis – Yes. Hopes he’ll be “a fearless defender of the Constitution in the mold of Clarence Thomas.” If elected will appoint similar Florida Supreme Court Justices.

Gillum – No. “Will push the Supreme Court into the world of ultra-conservatism.” Would appoint Florida Justices who’d heed the voices of ordinary citizens.

 

Economy: Support Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

DeSantis – Yes. Trump is a master negotiator trying to get concessions.

Gillum – No. “He’s threatening Florida’s workers, farmers, & companies.”

 

Education: Increase funding for K-12 education?

DeSantis – No statements found on funding, but prefers setting policy at local level.

Gillum – Yes. Proposes a $1 billion “Fair Share” investment in public schools covered by increasing state’s corporate tax rate & legalizing & taxing marijuana.

 

Education: Support the expansion of charter schools or help parents send their children to private schools with public money?

DeSantis – Yes. Expand both charters & vouchers. Let federal dollars follow students to any schools their families choose.

Gillum – No. Against vouchers & “unaccountable, for-profit charter schools who use public dollars to enrich their executives.”

 

Education: Increase state funding for higher education?

DeSantis – No statements found on state funding, but more training support for students who enter workforce from high school.

Gillum – Yes. Wants to make college debt-free for professions like nursing & teaching. Also higher pay for adjuncts.

 

Environment: How would you address Florida’s red tide crisis, caused by nutrient-laden, polluted freshwater released from Lake Okeechobee & linked to Florida’s sugar industry? 

DeSantis – Clean the water; build a reservoir to redirect the flow south; seek federal funding to help. Has also criticized the sugar industry and open to more regulation of development that affects runoff.

Gillum – Reverse Rick Scott environmental policies that eased pollution standards; redirect freshwater flow; eliminate the political influence of the sugar industry; work with surrounding communities to deal with potential job loss.

 

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

DeSantis – No. Cosponsored bill to protect individuals for faith-based noncooperation with gay marriage.

Gillum – Yes. While Tallahassee mayor invited same-sex couples to get married there when refused in other FL counties.

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

DeSantis – No. Solution to gun violence is “’identifying the problem people’ rather than enforcing ‘blanket bans on the rights of law-abiding citizens.’” Supports allowing Floridians with conceal carry permits to carry openly on campuses.

Gillum – Yes. Called for additional restrictions after Parkland, like universal background checks & bans on assault weapons & high capacity magazines. Sued by NRA over prohibiting firing weapons in public parks.

 

Healthcare: Support or Repeal ACA, aka Obamacare? Accept ACA’s Medicaid expansion to subsidize low-income participants?

DeSantis – Voted to repeal ACA. No FL Medicaid expansion. Says health care isn’t a right. The right is to pursue the type of healthcare you want. Obamacare infringes on that.

Gillum – Support & strengthen ACA, guarantee care for pre-existing conditions, expand Medicaid in Florida. Work toward “Medicare for all.”

 

Healthcare: Let Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion healthcare?

DeSantis – No. Voted for a bill to end funding.

Gillum – Yes. Challenged Rick Scott effort to defund Planned Parenthood.

 

Immigration: Support path to citizenship for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants, including “DACA” recipients or “Dreamers,” who grew up in the US after being brought here as children?

DeSantis – No. Considers DACA unconstitutional. Opposes any path to citizenship.  DACA “amnesty” would further incentivize illegal immigration & chain migration. Fire officials who abet sanctuary cities.

Gillum – Yes. Can protect national security & “have a secure border without criminalizing” undocumented people. Let them get alternative ID drivers’ licenses. Continue in-state tuition.

 

Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

DeSantis – No. Opposes recreational use. Will implement will of the voters on medical.

Gillum – Yes. “Legalize it. Tax it. Use the revenues to fix Florida’s public schools.”

 

Minimum Wage: Increase from $8.25/hour?

DeSantis – No public statements found.

Gillum – Yes. Supports state $15 minimum wage.

 

Net Neutrality: Require internet providers to provide equal access to all users?

DeSantis – No. Obama-era FCC requirement for net neutrality was a “massive power grab.”

Gillum – Yes. FCC decision to dismantle was an attack on FL communities & residents.

 

President Trump: Support for policies of President Trump?

DeSantis – Endorsed by Trump in the primary. Voted 94% for his Congressional initiatives.

Gillum – Outspoken opponent of Trump.

 

Renewable Energy: Government support for renewable energy?

DeSantis – No. Opposed continued wind energy subsidy, calling it “anti-competitive & economically harmful.”

Gillum – Yes. “Transition Florida to clean energy as rapidly as possible.”  Supported renewables as Tallahassee mayor.

Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts?

DeSantis – Yes. “The reforms will better enable American companies to compete with foreign businesses & will help stem the tide of companies & jobs going overseas.”

Gillum – No. Puts “billions of dollars in the coffers of our richest corporations, money that would otherwise protect Social Security & Medicare, & pay for roads & bridges.”

 

Taxes: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?

DeSantis – No. Keep Florida a low-tax state “by opposing tax increases & requiring a supermajority vote in the Legislature to raise taxes.”

Gillum – Yes. Increase Florida’s corporate tax rate by 2% to generate $1 billion for education funding.