All of a sudden, I care about Andrew Gillum, whom I'd never heard of before he won the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida Tuesday night.
Gillum, the mayor of the state capital, Tallahassee, joins Georgia's Stacey Abrams as progressive black candidates seeking historic victories in governor's races in the deep South.
Like Abrams, Gillum faces a hard-right GOP acolyte of Donald Trump. Ron DeSantis, who easily won the Florida Republican primary for governor Tuesday night, is even more of a Trump lapdog than Brian Kemp, Abrams' GOP opponent in Georgia. DeSantis was propelled to victory by a strange ad in which he reads his children a Trump storybook and helps them build a Trumpian wall.
Florida and Georgia voters will have a clear choice in the November election. Outside money will flow into both states, which will be seen as a referendum on Trump. No doubt Trump will head to both states for bizarro rant rallies.
Gillum and Abrams represent the multicultural future, DeSantis and Kemp the regressive past.
I'm hoping Gillum and Abrams are part of a blue wave that restores Democratic control of the House and Senate and heralds the end of Trump's era of GOP oligarchy. I fear another morning of deep and dark despair.