Consummate campaigner: Andrew Gillum lost a race but the lies have never ended
Andrew Gillum did not exit stage left after losing the race to be Florida governor. He fella gnat’s eyelash short of victory in November; Gov. Ron DeSantis won the race by a 32,000-vote margin out of more than eight million ballots cast.
But neither defeat nor an apparent FBI interest in his campaign’s workings have exiled Gillum from Florida politics.
Instead, he doubles down on a pledge to make the Florida electorate more favorable to Democrats like himself. He set a goal to register a million new voters by the 2020 election with the aim to deny President Donald Trump the state’s 29 electoral college votes.
“Right now, I’m focused on dedicating all my efforts to help register and re-engage one million voters and flip Florida blue,” Gillum told the Tallahassee Democrat in a statement Thursday.
The former Tallahassee mayor reorganized remnants of his failed gubernatorial bid in March into a Flip Florida blue campaign. While the Political Action Committee he formed for the 2018 campaign continues to raise money, he also created a not-for-profit corporation, Forward Florida Action, to help fund the voter registration and mobilization effort.
FFA falls under IRS rules, and unlike a state PAC, files just one report a year and does not have to disclose donors.
Political observers note the Flip Florida campaign will provide voters a measuring stick to judge Gillum’s effectiveness. And a Tallahassee-based pollster who observed Gillum’s 15-year career as a city commissioner and mayor added that Gillum has a record of exceeding people’s expectations.
“He has the funding, the energy and the stamina to do it, if he wants,” said Steve Vancore, who usually consults with Democratic candidates.