State Attorney Aramis Ayala endorses Andrew Gillum for Florida governor


Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala endorsed Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in his bid for Florida governor.

Ayala, who was elected as the first African American state attorney in Florida, endorsed Gillum for the Democratic primary at a campaign event in Orlando on Tuesday.

"Throughout this race, he's shown courage – and I mean true courage," Ayala said. "From speaking truth to power to standing up for our most important values of inclusion and decency. His track record as a progressive leader in Tallahassee combined with his bold vision of a true North Star for this state is going to serve him very well as governor."

Gillum is running for the Democratic nomination against former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Winter Park businessman Chris King, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Palm Beach real estate billionaire Jeff Greene.

Last year, Ayala clashed in a legal fight with Gov. Rick Scott over her refusal to seek the death penalty under her administration. The Republican governor reassigned more than two dozen first-degree murder cases away from Ayala's office, prompting a showdown in the Florida Supreme Court. Ayala eventually lost her case, and to comply with the court's decision, she created a seven-member panel of prosecutors who would determine what cases deserved the death penalty.

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