Democrat Andrew Gillum Hints At 2022 Run for Governor


Democrat Andrew Gillum appears to be gearing up for another gubernatorial run in Florida against Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in 2022. Gillum spoke to The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross in Atlanta during a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fireside chat and shared his plans to launch another bid for governor of Florida. The 39-year-old, who narrowly lost to DeSantis in 2018, said he saw himself in a Democratic administration following the 2020 general election.

“I ran for governor and I still plan to be governor,” Gillum told Cross. “I don’t think I’ve said this anywhere else.” According to Cross’ blog, Gillum discussed several campaign tactics and strategies he would treat differently in a future run, including delving into traditionally red counties. Gillum did not immediately respond to The North Star’s request for comment about his plans.

Gillum’s 2018 campaign, which he lost by less than half a percentage point, has been the focus of a federal investigation. In March, federal authorities issued an expansive subpoena for information on Gillum, his campaign, and some of his associates, The New York Times reported. Barry Richard, Gillum’s attorney, denied the 39-year-old had done anything wrong during his failed campaign. “Somebody is out to damage Mr. Gillum politically and is making allegations to different law enforcement bodies,” Richard said. The subpoena was unrelated to Gillum’s time as mayor of Tallahassee.

Gillum vowed to fully cooperate with investigators. “We stand ready to assist any future review of our work because I am confident we always did the right thing and complied fully with the law,” he said in a statement, according to The New York Times. On June 7, the Florida Commission on Ethics approved a joint settlement agreement with Gillum over his acceptance of a gift from a city lobbyist during his tenure as mayor. Gillum paid a $5,000 civil fine, and, in exchange, the commission dropped four of the five charges against the Democrat. The agreement was sent to Governor DeSantis for final approval, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Since losing the election, Gillum has been working to register 1 million voters for the 2020 elections and flip Florida for the Democrats. Gillum spoke to Cross about Florida voters and said there needs to be a conversation about those who do not go to vote.

“We have got to talk to the voters who don’t always vote. People of color, young voters, poor voters frankly. What we have got to do is build an apparatus so regardless who the nominee is, we will flip Florida blue in 2020. Because we’ve done the hard work in the field,” he said.

He continued: “My grandma told me, ‘It ain’t about you.’ And so I’m focused on the people who lose when we lose elections. The kids in schools where more guns are now allowed. The people working two or three jobs to get by. So we have got to be focused on who matters most in these elections."

On the day the ethics commission approved his settlement, Gillum told a room filled with Democratic activists that he would not let a federal investigation distract him from registering Florida voters, Politico reported. Gillum told the crowd of more than 100 Florida Democrats in Orlando that the federal investigation was “unsettling.” Gillum said he was willing to take “slings” and “arrows,” but that he would not be deterred from his commitment to “flip Florida blue.” Politico noted that the investigation could affect donor enthusiasm. However, Gillum previously said that his organization, Forward Florida Action, had raised $800,000, including $250,000 after the subpoena became public.

Nikki Fried, the agriculture commissioner and Florida Democrat’s de facto leader, said she was not concerned the probe would affect the party’s ability to raise money or its drive to register voters. “One person is not the party,” Fried told reporters, according to Politico. “I think people are excited, energized to register as Democrats.” She added, “When people come out to vote and the right issues are on the ballot, the right issues win.”

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.