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Gillum to miss first debate against DeSantis due to storm recovery efforts

Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) introduced Saturday that he’ll miss the primary of three scheduled debates in opposition to Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisHurricane Michael barrels into Florida races Election Countdown: Florida candidates face new test from hurricane | GOP optimistic about expanding Senate majority | Top-tier Dems start heading to Iowa | Bloomberg rejoins Dems | Trump heads to Pennsylvania rally Gillum knocks Trump: We need a partner, not someone who throws ‘cheap political shots’ MORE (R) as he directs storm cleanup efforts in Tallahassee.

Gillum, who’s the mayor of Tallahassee, informed the Tampa Bay Times in a press release that he would miss Tuesday’s deliberate debate in Orlando, Fla., and would return to the marketing campaign path on Thursday.

“In occasions like these, campaigning has to take a backseat to governing. My job is to maintain our group secure and guarantee Tallahassee recovers as rapidly and totally as attainable,” he informed the Occasions.

“Over the previous a number of days I’ve been unable to take part in dozens of marketing campaign occasions, and this week that may embody our participation within the debate sponsored by Telemundo 31 Orlando. I deeply recognize the organizers’ understanding of the scenario in Tallahassee. We’ll work diligently to make sure Telemundo and its viewers are represented within the two scheduled debates and different attainable boards,” he added.

Gillum confirmed his plans to stay off the marketing campaign path by way of Wednesday in a Facebook video posted to his marketing campaign’s account on Saturday afternoon.

A CNN debate initially scheduled for Tuesday between Florida Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonHurricane Michael barrels into Florida races Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters for midterms MORE (D) and his opponent GOP Gov. Rick Scott was also postponed.

Florida is a high battleground state this November with Republicans and Democrats intently watching its Senate and gubernatorial races. 

Scott is within the center of a tight Senate race in opposition to Nelson, who’s going through a crucial test of his leadership as he spearheads rescue and restoration efforts.

Gillum and DeSantis are additionally locked in a heated race for the state’s governorship. RealClearPolitics has ranked the race a “toss-up” with a mean of polling giving Gillum a slight edge.

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