Andrew Gillum, former Florida gubernatorial candidate, is indicted

In 2018,  Ron DeSantis narrowly beat Andrew Gillum to be Florida’s next Governor.  The race was won by a margin of about 30,000 votes or 0.4%.

Just four years later, the former Tallahassee mayor and Democratic nominee for Governor has been indicted on twenty-one counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements.  The charges are related to his campaign for Governor in 2018.

Gillum was charged along with his political associate, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, for fraudulent fundraising from “various entities” during the course of his campaign.

The Justice Department alleges that Gillum funneled the money to a company controlled by Hicks, who washed the money through her company and gave it back to Gillum, who was on the company’s payroll.

The indictment is just the latest in a series of mishaps that have resulted in the downfall of a politician many were calling the Democratic Party’s “next Obama”.

Gillum released a statement this morning in anticipation of his indictment where he proclaimed his innocence.

“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.” He said.

Gillum’s supporters took to Twitter to call the prosecution racially and politically motivated.

The scandal was first discovered by undercover FBI agents as they were investigating corruption in Tallahassee and were tipped off to Gillum and Hicks’s illegal activities.

Gillum is no stranger to scandal.

In 2019, state officials brought an ethics complaint against Gillum after it was found that he had accepted gifts from lobbyists in 2016.

In 2020, the rising Democratic star was found in a Miami Beach hotel with a male sex worker and suspected drugs.  He entered rehab after the incident.

The indictment will undoubtedly hurt an already embattled Democratic party in the state.  Democrats are currently poised to lose the Governor’s race by nearly double-digits, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average.

Democrats currently hold ten of Florida’s twenty-seven Congressional seats and may be poised to lose two or three more in the midterms in November, according to the Cook Congressional Report.

You may also like: Next leader of Florida Democrats resigns amid sexual harassment allegations

Be sure to read: Pushaw busts Fried campaign for fake news

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