For nearly four years, Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum has been at the helm of Tallahassee, FL’s city government. But it hasn’t at all been smooth sailing for the city of Tallahassee.
Of all the struggles Gillum has encountered as mayor, none has loomed larger in the eyes of Tallahasseeans than the FBI’s corruption investigation that has several Tallahassee officials caught up in its net, including Gillum.
Gillum has denied his involvement and even put out a statement insisting the FBI told him he was not the focus of the investigation that involves the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency, an agency critics have said is a magnet for cronyism and ripe for mismanagement.
Earlier this year, Gillum told the Tallahassee Democrat he had cut ties with one of the central figures of the FBI investigation — lobbyist and restauranteur Adam Corey.
“I had a trusting relationship and I felt like I allowed people around me who were acquaintances of his because I trusted him,” Gillum said according to a January Democrat report. “And it appears that if these guys were here for an investigation, that the only way they got to me was by leveraging my friendship with Adam.”
Democrat senior writer Jeff Burlew, who has extensively reported on the corruption scandal, explained the looming cloud of this investigation has come at a cost.
“Since the arrival of FBI subpoenas last summer, nowhere has the dark cloud been more forbidding than over City Hall,” Burlew wrote. “It has brought dysfunction to the City Commission, thrown monkey wrenches into the political plans of state and local candidates and shaken the public’s confidence in their local government. Each new revelation has only raised more questions.”
Throughout much of this scandal, Gillum has been absent from Tallahassee and waging his gubernatorial effort throughout the state of Florida.
Gillum shocked political watchers on Tuesday by winning the Sunshine State’s Democratic gubernatorial nod. Polling leading up to last night’s election had Gillum running in fourth place among a crowded field that included former Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL), Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene.
Gillum will face Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in November’s general election to determine who will replace Rick Scott as governor of Florida.
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