With the Fall of FL's Rising Democratic Star, The Candidate Bench Is Truly Gutted

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Posted: Jun 22, 2022 4:15 PM
With the Fall of FL's Rising Democratic Star, The Candidate Bench Is Truly Gutted

Source: AP Photo/Steve Cannon

He was once considered a rising star. Maybe he was gearing for a political comeback. He lost a close gubernatorial race to Ron DeSantis in 2018. Now, I doubt he’d be within striking distance of DeSantis if he decided to run again, but he nixed that possibility eons ago. Andrew Gillum who lost to DeSantis, and then got caught in a hotel room with meth and gay hookers, is facing a slew of fraud charges. He surrendered to authorities at 10 AM this morning. And yes, some of those activities allegedly occurred during his 2018 campaign (via NBC News):

Andrew Gillum, the once-rising Florida Democratic star who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race to Ron DeSantis, was hit with a 21-count federal indictment Wednesday for wire fraud, related conspiracy charges and making false statements.

Gillum, the former Tallahassee mayor, was charged along with his mentor, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, for fraudulently fundraising from "various entities" between 2016 to 2019, according to a Department of Justice press release. The Justice Department said the two allegedly diverted some of the money to a company controlled by Lettman-Hicks, who fraudulently disguised the funds as payroll payments to Gillum.

In a written statement, Gillum and his lawyers proclaimed his innocence. Lettman-Hicks — a candidate for a state House seat — has not returned texts or calls from NBC News requesting comment.

“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people,” Gillum said. “Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political. Throughout my career I have always stood up for the people of Florida and have spoken truth to power. There’s been a target on my back ever since I was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and I have full confidence that my legal team will prove my innocence now.”

Well, he’s toast. He’s done. After his hotel fiasco, Gillum did come out as bisexual and decided to enter rehab. He wasn’t going to have a rematch with Governor DeSantis, but the chance of him returning to public life, if that was ever on his agenda, is probably dead now. Look, he’s a Democrat. For the crimes they get busted on, everyone gets forgiven.

He certainly would have been a better choice for Florida Democrats than Charlie Crist or Nikki Fried, the latter of which resorted to talking about sex tapes that probably don’t exist to garner some media attention.

Ron is king. He’s primed to be re-elected especially with the clown show Democrats have produced down there in the Sunshine State. And the reason his 2018 contest was so close was that 2018 was sort of a blue year. Ron survived it. Since then, the state has shifted towards the GOP big league, especially with Hispanic voters. 

With Gillum possibly facing jail time if convicted, Florida’s bench for Democrats looks rather thin. It’s virtually non-existent this year. Public life was a brief burst of glory for Mr. Gillum.