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Gillum targeted by new racist robocall in Florida governor race

Florida voters who receive the call — audio of which was obtained by NBC News — hear a man speaking in a minstrel dialect who identifies himself as Gillum.
Image: Andrew Gillum
Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor in Florida, at a town hall at St. Petersburg College on Oct. 19, 2018.Octavio Jones / Tampa Bay Times via AP

A racist robocall that refers to Andrew Gillum as a "negro" and a "monkey" is making the rounds in Florida, prompting a furious response from the Democratic gubernatorial candidate's campaign.

Florida voters who receive the call — audio of which was obtained by NBC News — hear a man impersonating the African-American politician.

"Well hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I'll be askin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida," the voice says.

“My state opponent, who done call me monkey, is doin' a lot of hollerin’ about how ‘spensive my plans for health care be,” the voice says. A chimpanzee noise is played during the word “monkey.”

A spokesperson for Gillum's campaign blasted the robocall as "disgusting" and "abhorrent."

"These disgusting, abhorrent robocalls represent a continuation of the ugliest, most divisive campaign in Florida's history," Gillum spokesman Geoff Burgan said in a statement. “We would hope that these calls, and the dangerous people who are behind them, are not given any more attention than they already have been."

Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, is running to be Florida's first black governor. He is running against former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis.

A spokesperson for DeSantis said the campaign had "absolutely nothing to do with" the robocall "and joins those in condemning it."

"In fact, we would encourage the Gillum campaign to join us in rooting out and exposing once and for all those who are behind this disgusting call," Stephen Lawson, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the latest robocall.

The message, however, is not the first to target Gillum with derogatory and offensive language.

In August, a white supremacist group ran telephone robocalls in Florida impersonating Gillum.

In that robocall, a man with a minstrel dialect who identifies himself as Gillum says, "We Negroes...done made mud huts while white folk waste a bunch of time making their home out of wood an' stone.”