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

Florida Gov. candidates with their running mates [from left to right]: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, chose Orlando Businessman and former rival Chris King, while Fla. Congressman Ron DeSantis, a Republican, chose state Rep. Jeanette Nunez.
Andrew Gillum's Twitter/Ron Desantis' Twitter
Florida Gov. candidates with their running mates [from left to right]: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, chose Orlando Businessman and former rival Chris King, while Fla. Congressman Ron DeSantis, a Republican, chose state Rep. Jeanette Nunez.

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:
NunezTweet2016.jpg

  • 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.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.