In role reversal, Ron DeSantis engages with voters while Andrew Gillum disappears from trail

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate has not appeared at a public campaign event in a week
Ron DeSantis held four campaign events around Orlando and Vero Beach Saturday [ADAM SMITH-Tampa Bay Times]
Ron DeSantis held four campaign events around Orlando and Vero Beach Saturday [ADAM SMITH-Tampa Bay Times]
Published Sep. 15, 2018

We've written a lot about how Ron DeSantis mainly campaigned for the Republican gubernatorial nomination from a Fox News studio, rather than mixing it up with Florida voters.  So we should note that this week Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum was the one conspicuously absent from from the campaign trail, while DeSantis put some wear and tear on his cowboy boots campaigning across the state.

DeSantis himself noted it during a campaign stop in Casselberry this morning.

"Jeanette and I have been all over the place," he said, referring to his running mate, state Rep. Jeanette Nunez. "My opponent, he's like missing in action. Nobody's seen him because he's got all these problems and he knows it's going to be tough to answer the questions."

Last Saturday, Tallahassee Mayor Gillum held a rally in Orlando that drew a monster crowd estimated at 1,200. Since then he attended a Tallahassee City Commission meeting Wednesday but not a single public campaign event in Florida.

DeSantis has held 10 public events this week, including four today in the Orlando area and Vero Beach.

It's no surprise that a candidate would begin the general election hitting the out of state fundraising circuit, as Gillum did in Washington and San Francisco. But it's also perfectly fair for DeSantis to point out the contrast.

“Along with the traditional public events, Mayor Gillum is relying heavily on reaching voters where they are and increasingly more voters are engaging with us online,” said Gillum campaign spokesman Geoff Burgan, sounding an awful lot like the DeSantis campaign defending his constant Fox News appearances..
“This week,” Burgan said, “he reached over 230,000 people through Facebook Live posts and touched another 121 million people on twitter in the last month. This is the type of momentum that propelled us to win in the primary and you have to look beyond traditional campaign events to get a true pulse of the electorate.”