Politics

Former Democrat FL Gubernatorial Candidate Gillum Indicted For Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, False Statements To FBI

After former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum lost the 2018 Florida governor’s race in an absolute squeaker to Ron DeSantis, things went downhill for him from there. 

On Wednesday, Gillum was indicted on 19 counts of wire fraud related to campaign finance by the Justice Department. Along with cohort Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, he is accused of soliciting funds using false representations and promises.

Gillum is also accused of making false statements to the FBI.

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Specifics Of The Indictment

The indictment accuses Gillum and Lettman-Hicks of essentially funneling money through Lettman-Hicks’ company and back to Gillum. 

The funds, as related by NBC, are campaign-related:

The two are alleged to have used his position as mayor, as a progressive activist and then as a top candidate for governor to skim money from a variety of individual donors and nonprofit groups, fraudulently pretending to perform voter outreach or to fight for local government rights while pocketing the cash — even after his campaign for governor ended in 2018.

Gillum denies any wrongdoing and claims that the case is based on politics:

“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people. 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.”

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The Progressives’ Rock Star

In 2018, Andrew Gillum was on pace to be a rising star in the Democrat Party. He was certainly the progressives’ dream. A former mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum ran for governor on issues like medicare-for-all and a $15 hour minimum wage, earning the endorsement of socialist Bernie Sanders.

Had he won, he would have been the state’s first black governor. Gillum even had Republican strategists admitting that his candidacy had the chance to beef up the statewide Democrat ticket.

All that came crashing down went Gillum lost an incredibly close race to DeSantis, losing by just 32,000 votes.

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Other Troubles For Gillum

Andrew Gillum has been having his share of troubles with the law for a while. In March of 2020, the Miami Police Department was called to a hotel room where Gillum was too intoxicated to speak. 

Gillum was in the hotel room with a male escort, and photos showed drugs in the room.

Photos of the incident have been reported in the press.

Gillum was scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. If convicted on all counts, both Gillum and Lettman-Hicks could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count.

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Becky Noble

Becky Noble, a political blogger and writer for over 10 years, lives by the motto, “Being normal is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.” Becky holds a degree in journalism from Regent University.

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