Richard Corcoran, Andrew Gillum spar over sanctuary cities, controversial ad

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The race for governor is in full swing as Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum faced off Tuesday night in a debate over illegal immigration.

  • Corcoran, Gillum debated sanctuary cities bill
  • Gillum said Corcoran ad was "deplorable"
  • Corcoran said he'll fight to get bill passed

The debate centered around a state bill that would ban sanctuary cities in Florida.

Corcoran said it's about law and order. Gillum, meanwhile, said Corcoran wants to turn Florida into a police state.

The two also sparred over a controversial ad by Corcoran that attacks sanctuary cities.

Gillum linked the illegal immigrant portrayed in a hoodie in the video to the death of Trayvon Martin.

"Look, he's the third most powerful person in this state," Gillum said of Corcoran. "Couple of heartbeats away from the governor of the state of Florida. I don't believe that he makes mistakes about the kind of imagery, the kind of message that he wants to send. I thought it was a deplorable ad all ways around, but that element certainly did not fall flat on me."

Corcoran said he plans to keep fighting to get the bill passed.

"I have a 15-year-old boy who wears a hoodie all the time. You're reading into something that's far greater," Corcoran said. "The point of the story was when you allow criminal, illegal immigrants to go out there and walk our streets, people are in jeopardy."

During the debate, Gillum told Corcoran he wanted an apology for the ad. That never came.

Right now the sanctuary cities bill is stalled in the Senate.