The father of a Parkland school shooting victim is criticizing Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum for receiving support from controversial Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
Israel has been widely criticized for his handling of events surrounding the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, which left 17 people dead. Andrew Pollack’s daughter, Meadow, was among the victims.
Israel is one of several local officials hosting a fundraising breakfast for Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor, this weekend, The Sun-Sentinel reported.
“It is absolutely disgraceful that Andrew Gillum would campaign with Sheriff Israel. Gillum is siding with Sheriff Israel above the interests of our students and citizens, making our schools and communities less safe,” Pollack said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “We need to elect [GOP nominee] Ron DeSantis so people like Sheriff Israel can be held accountable and removed from office.”
In a tweet about the fundraiser, Pollack called Israel a “disgraceful sheriff that is partially responsible for the death of my daughter.”
DeSantis, a former congressman, has said he would have suspended Israel.
A progressive, Gillum has often touted his plan for stricter gun control if elected governor. On his campaign website, he’s promised to “never back down from common sense solutions to keep our streets, parks and schools safe from gun violence.”
Pollack has been extremely vocal about his opposition to Gillum on social media.
“Electing [Gillum] as Governor would be the worst mistake in the history of Florida,” Pollack said in one tweet.
“A friend of the pathetic Sheriff Israel, is an enemy of mine,” he said in another, linking to a Tampa Bay Times article about Israel’s support of Gillum. Pollack added the hashtag “#FixIt.”
Gillum is also connected to an ongoing FBI investigation into possible corruption in Tallahassee, which he’s led since 2014. Gillum has stressed he is not the focus of the investigation and has denied any wrongdoing.
Fox News has ranked the race between DeSantis and Gillum a tossup.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.