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GOP attacks Gillum over Hermine response as Michael nears

Ads criticize Tallahassee mayor for lag time getting power back on

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum cleared his gubernatorial campaign schedule Monday and went home to prepare for Hurricane Michael.

Gillum has come under criticism from Republicans for not getting the power back on quickly enough after Hurricane Hermine, so now he has the opportunity to prove his critics wrong.

The Democratic nominee for governor, Gillum was highly visible in his return to Tallahassee. He was seen checking in with emergency management officials and touring a new electric substation.

"Should there be any disruption in the system, it will be in place to activate immediately so that we don’t have disruption, particularly among our highest critical need area, the hospital," said Gillum.

After Hermine swept through in 2016, Gillum sparred with Gov. Rick Scott over lagging efforts to restore power to city residents and businesses.

"So, whatever we're doing, we've got to do something different," the governor said at the time.

On Monday, Gillum made it clear he's willing to work with Scott. "We’ll cooperate in a manner in which we are respectful to the roles each of us has to play," he said.

The Republican Party of Florida has been running two spots critical of how Gillum handled that power outage. The timing of the two ads couldn't be better.

Despite the attacks, Gillum has been vocal about his cooperation with the governor's office. He's asking for help much more publicly than he did two years ago, and the two have spoken more than once.

"We’ve requested some 600 assets. That is a tripling of the assets we had available in the aftermath of Hermine," said Gillum.

As for his constituents, the mayor is suggesting people who depend on electricity to ride the storm out elsewhere.