Donald Trump

Barack Obama Endorses Andrew Gillum for Governor; Puerto Rico Governor Endorses Bill Nelson for Senate

Former President Barack Obama endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, while Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, endorsed Bill Nelson in the Senate race.

Gillum is racing against Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis for the governorship. Nelson is facing off against Gov. Rick Scott in the race for one of Florida's U.S. Senate seat.

“Andrew is a proven fighter with the courage and determination to stand up for Florida families. As Governor, Andrew will expand access to affordable healthcare, protect Floridians with pre-existing conditions, invest in education, protect the environment and build an economy that works for all," President Barack Obama said in a statement on Monday. "Andrew believes that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and he will make expanding Medicaid a priority on day one as governor."

In an Orlando event, Rosselló was joined by former Puerto Rican governors Pedro Rosselló and Alejandro García Padilla in endorsing Nelson.

Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, last week took the lead in the Florida Senate electoral race ahead of Scott, a Republican, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

The poll shows that Nelson has 53 percent of support among likely Florida voters compared to Scott's 46 percent of support.

The endorsement comes after President Donald Trump declared himself an "absolute no" on statehood for Puerto Rico as long as critics such as San Juan's mayor remain in office.

Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 and is Florida's only statewide elected Democrat. Scott was first elected amid the Tea Party movement in 2010 but has flipped on some of his hardline positions, including immigration.

Term limits prohibit Scott from seeking a third term as the governor of Florida.

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