Andrew Gillum named as his new campaign manager on Tuesday an “unapologetic progressive” whose political work has included Pennsylvania-based campaigns for Hillary Clinton and John Fetterman, a mayor who is now running to be that state’s lieutenant governor.
As the Democratic Primary recently expanded to four candidates, Brendan McPhillips is swooping in to fill the seat left vacant by Phillip Thompson in July to help the Tallahassee Mayor reach the governor’s mansion.
The new hire comes a couple months after Gillum brought on Akilah Ensley as his new finance director in an effort to breathe some life into his fundraising, which is currently in a months-long drought and has been since the dual specters of an email scandal and an FBI investigation arrived in the early days of his campaign.
“The Mayor has an unmatched progressive record, from beating the gun lobby in court to standing up against oil pipelines, and I know that in 2018 we are finally going to take back the Governor’s Mansion,” McPhillips said in a statement.
A self-proclaimed beer enthusiast on Twitter, McPhillips said Gillum will not get across the finish line by running “Republican Lite—we have to be bold to convince this state that it is out time to put a Democrat in charge again.”
The hire was announced by campaign communications director Geoff Burgan, who said McPhillips “will bring new ideas to this race, and help us ensure true Democratic values are a part of every conversation between now and Election Day.”
Gillum faces former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, former congresswoman Gwen Graham and Winter Park businessman Chris King in the primary race, and trails all three when it comes to fundraising.
Levine, the latest to enter the race, had a million-dollar month in October and has $5.4 million in the bank. He leads the Democratic field, followed by Graham with $2.66 million on hand and King with about $1.7 million on hand. Gillum had $557,571 on hand at the end of October.