Andrew Gillum’s political committee spent $450,000 on lawyers in 60 days — the same amount the former Democratic gubernatorial nominee promised to raise to engage voters of color.
The spending was revealed in recent finance reports for Forward Florida, a political committee chaired by Gillum that supported his run for Governor and has continued funding the former Tallahassee Mayor’s post-campaign initiatives.
The PAC’s December report showed a $172,000 payment to law firm Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler as well as a $39,244 payment to Perkins Coie last month. Those expenditures were classified as payments for “legal services.”
The payment to Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler follows a $190,865 retainer paid to the firm in November. Likewise, Perkins Coie received $45,059 from the fund in the same month.
Notably, Forward Florida went into Election Day 2018 with more than $3 million still in the bank — a remarkable sum considering the gap between he and now-Gov. Ron DeSantis was a mere 33,000 votes, or 0.41%.
The lack of 11th hour spending enraged some of Gillum’s most prominent donors, including Orlando attorney John Morgan.
Fundraising has slowed considerably for Gillum’s committee since the 2018 cycle wrapped, though spending has remained high.
The last six months have seen more than $1.1 million exit the committee’s coffers, including the $450,000 spent on legal services.
Heading into 2020, the committee had about $2.3 million in the bank.
The fundraising commitment made by Gillum last month is separate from the funds in Forward Florida and his other affiliated organization, Forward Florida Action.