Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is back in the news, and not for good reasons. The once-rising star in the Democratic Party is facing serious federal charges of wire fraud and giving false statements to FBI agents, and if convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison for each of his 17 counts. Gillum has always maintained his innocence, but evidence seems to suggest otherwise.
Gillum was recorded by undercover FBI agents while accepting gifts from developers who treated him to Broadway shows, hotel stays, and private tours of New York City. The alleged crimes stretch back to his time as mayor of Tallahassee, and he left office in 2018. In 2017, he denied ever soliciting illegal gifts during a sit-down with the FBI.
The charges are a significant fall from grace for Gillum, who narrowly lost to Republican Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race by just 0.41% of the vote. Two years later, Gillum was found in a hotel room with a man who appeared to be in the throes of a drug overdose.
Gillum has always been a controversial figure, with accusations of misusing campaign funds to enrich himself dating back to his time as mayor. His fall from grace has been swift, and his political future is uncertain.