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Red tide a key issue in the Florida gubernatorial race

Posted: 3:57 PM, Oct 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-02 19:15:03-04

SIESTA KEY, Fla. — Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum is bringing his fight for the Governor’s mansion to Siesta Key. He spoke to a crowd of about 200 people near the beach on Tuesday afternoon. Gillum used the platform to highlight his environmental plan.

“We have to deal with how we treat with pollution and contamination at its source, we have too much runoff that is happening,” said Gillum.

The enthusiastic crowd held signs that read “Stop red tide, don’t fertilize.” Gillum said he wants to bring scientists into the discussion on how to combat red tide.

Julie Mackert works on Siesta Key as a massage therapist.

“I don’t get into the politics of it all,” said Mackert.

She said business is down about 80 percent since August. She is just hoping the next governor will take immediate action.

“I’m just looking for people to take responsibility and really do right by our ocean,” said Mackert.

Republican Ron DeSantis issued a statement about the red tide crisis. The statement reads in part:

"As Governor, he will issue an executive order reestablishing a task force of marine and oceanic science experts to research and develop solutions to deal with Florida’s red tide crisis.”

Both men are using the environment as a key issue in the upcoming election.