Political Expert Talks Florida Running Mate Choices, If Lieutenant Gov. Position Matters

Sep 7, 2018

This week, Florida gubernatorial candidates from the two major political parties chose their running mates: Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis, a Republican, chose state Rep. Jeanette Nunez, while Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, chose Orlando Businessman and former rival Chris King. Sascha Cordner spoke to University of Central Florida Political Scientist Aubrey Jewett to discuss the Republican and Democrat running mates, whether picking a Lieutenant Governor matters, and if the right choices were made on each ticket.

Interview highlights:

  • When it comes to Desantis' choice in a Lieutenant Governor, Jewett says Nunez is the best choice he could have made in terms of being elected. She's Hispanic, from South Florida, and she's a woman.
  • Jewett says though it may affect a few votes, a Nunez tweet from 2016 blasting then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump will not matter too much to most voters, espeically since DeSantis is a huge Trump supporter. Below is a screenshot of the now deleted tweet:

  • When it it comes to Gillum's choice in a Lieutenany Governor, Jewett says in a traditional way of thinking about it, King probably wasn't the best choice. But, Jewett says Gillum's strategy may be to double down on pushing progressive Democratic policies.
  • Jewett says Gillum probably would have done a better job in uniting Democrats if he had picked former North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham as his running mate, but he adds Gillum may not be worried about that.
  • Overall, when it comes to Lieutenant Governors, he quotes what he calls "an old cliche." He says the first rule of selecting a Lieutenant Governor candidate is "do no harm." He adds, it's kind of like the hypocratic oath, only for politicans.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.