Florida gubernatorial candidates visit Bay County ahead of Election Day

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - We're in the final leg in the race to the polls and gubernatorial candidates from both sides visited the Florida Panhandle in the days leading up to Election Day.

Monday marked one sleep away from Election Day and candidates worked tirelessly leading up to it.

This wasn't just to rally for support, but to show their concern for communities devastated by Hurricane Michael.

"I'm here the day before Election Day because I want this community to know that they're not going to be forgotten," Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said.

Congressman Ron DeSantis, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, and Gillum both made stops in Bay County this week.

"We converted our campaign events into supply drives, and we rolled in with all of these U-Hauls filled with stuff," DeSantis said during a Florida Republican candidate community barbecue in Lynn Haven Sunday.

The event was held at Sheffield Park and included Governor Rick Scott, CFO Jimmy Patronis, Judge Ashley Moody, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Representative Matt Caldwell, and several others.

Gillum was at Parker Elementary School in Bay County Monday morning to greet students returning to class with stops in Panama City and Marianna on the itinerary.

"It's important to have a sense of how these communities are being impacted," Gillum said.

While the candidates hope to garner support and ultimately land a seat in the Governor's chair, a big question is how they would help the Florida Panhandle recover following the hurricane.

"One of the first steps that I will take is standing up a liaison to this area that will work closely to ensure that whatever the needs are for these communities, for Bay County and all of the affected areas, that they're met," Gillum said.

During the barbecue, DeSantis said, "We're going to get this right. As governor, this is going to be a priority. I will be here just like Governor Scott has done and he's done a great job."

Although people in the Panhandle may feel like they're not being heard after the storm, this midterm election is a chance to give themselves a voice in how this state will move forward.