Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum assured Jewish voters on Sunday of his strong relationship with the Jewish community and Israel, the Sun Sentinel reported.
At the Century Pines Jewish Center, Gillum said there are people trying to “misconstrue” that relationship.
“But they don’t know the stories that I can tell about that relationship,” the Democratic nominee said. “I don’t have to be born to a Jewish mother and father to know the value of tikkun olam, the value of what it means to be repairers of the world, to stand in the gap on behalf of people. And in fact that has been the very testament of my life up to this point.”
His opponent, Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, has suggested that Gillum is anti-Israel due to his support for the Dream Defenders, a Black Lives Matter-tied group that also supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, according to the Palm Beach Post.
In response, Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, said on Sunday that he’s visited Israel three times.
“I don’t have to stand up and defend my credentials and my relationship with the Jewish community any more than Michael Bloomberg would need to do up here, except for, maybe, our last names.”
The former New York mayor recently gave $250,000 to Gillum’s political committee, the Miami Herald reported.
“It seems to me this is a very easy choice for the voters of Florida,” said Bloomberg, who is Jewish, in a speech endorsing Gillum. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chair and the first Jewish woman elected to the House from Florida, also endorsed Gillum, whom she said she’s known for years, according to the Sun Sentinel.