Early voting begins in Lee County amid gubernatorial race

Almost a million people have voted across the state for the early voting period that began Monday. People on the east coast camped out to be the first at the polls, as the two men hoping to lead Florida went head-to-head in a debate. With a close governor’s race and a long ballot, some may want to head to the polls now to avoid the long wait times.  

Sunday on CNN, Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis met for the first time face-to-face in a fast-paced and tense debate for Florida’s gubernatorial race.

“Andrew is a failed mayor,” Republican Ron DeSantis said at the debate. “He’s presided over a crime ridden city; he’s involved in corruption; he’s not the guy to lead our state.” 

Democrat Andrew Gillum shared his response at the debate. 

“Ron is being Donned–and that’s Donald Trump,” Gillum said. “Neglecting all sense of reason and facts. No matter of restatement of what he has to say is going to change the facts.” 

Voters casting their ballots in Lee County had different impressions of the nationally televised showdown.  

“I thought Gillum really presented himself well,” Becky Clark said. “And, of course, he’s for the issues that I’m for.” 

Voters in Lee County also felt DeSantis did the same.  

“DeSantis definitely,” Eve Yawn said. “He was very strong, and he knew what he was talking about. Very positive.” 

Both parties are bringing out the big guns.  

Sunday night, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Ron @RonDeSantisFL DeSantis had a great debate victory tonight against Andrew Gillum, a mayor who presides over one of the worst run, and most corrupt, cities in Florida. Ron will build on the great job done by Governor Rick Scott. Gillum will make Florida the next Venezuela!” 

Monday, Joe Biden, former vice president, made the case for Gillum and Senator Bill Nelson in Tampa.  

“I think there’s something different about this election,” Biden said. “I really mean this. Let me get to the point. This election is bigger than politics. For real. This goes well beyond. You will never have voted in an election that’s more important.” 

Regardless of party, voters seem to agree on that point while sticking to their belief in the leader who they want to represent the state.

“I think our country’s democracy, our institutions, everything is riding on this,” Clark said.  

“I think it’s very important,” Yawn said. “We have to keep the red wave going.”




Reporter:Oliver Redsten
Writer:Jack Lowenstein