Andrew Gillum picks 'unapologetic progressive' as new campaign manager - Florida Politics

Andrew Gillum picks ‘unapologetic progressive’ as new campaign manager

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.

Ana covers politics and policy for Florida Politics. Before joining Florida Politics, she was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.


  1. “unapologetic progressive” “…whose political work has included Pennsylvania-based campaigns for Hillary Clinton and John Fetterman…”

    given the support you list, this person sounds more like a “reputed progressive” who “has worked for a neoliberal centrist and others to promote a conservative economic vision and neoconservative world view why tossing pretty sounding words to progressives every now and then.” The author’s feint praise is at best “damning,” rather than inspiring. How about a list of the policies he will commit to championing and the specifics of what policies he is trying to get rid of and we might have a better understanding of who he is and what he is going to fight for.

  2. Mr. Philip Thompson the X campaign manager of Mr. Gillum…please contact me (Richard Paul Dembinsky) 386 788 3885 or cell 386 314 3646…..I need an affordable Campaign Manager ….I am now (or soon will be) a candidate for Governor Florida as a Democrat….I ran in 2006 for Governor as NPA (11,921 votes) and most recent election 73,299 State Senate District 14. At this point I will qualify during June 2018, need ONE contributor that has high profile (like Elizabeth Warren or other Liberal/Progressive) do you have any connections? Just one ….The qualifying fee is $7800 and I want this time to have one well known contributor my numerous past elections were self funded. I have 4 months to find ONE contributor ($3000)….Thanks for your help. Richard

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