Andrew Gillum, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor, was indicted on federal fraud charges Wednesday, and that could mean trouble for some of the politicians who rode his wave into elected office.
The 21 charges against Gillum allege that between 2016 and 2019 he and longtime campaign associate Sharon Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud by unlawfully soliciting and obtaining contributions through false and fraudulent promises on how the money would be used. Gillum on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Though Gillum lost to DeSantis by about 32,000 votes in 2018, he was a popular nominee in many Democratic areas of the state, including Tallahassee where he spent 15 years in local elected office serving as a City Commissioner and later as Mayor.
And, as the party’s nominee for Governor, his support four years ago was hard-sought among Democratic candidates, including current Tallahassee City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow.
Four years ago, Matlow was often seen alongside Gillum as they both campaigned for office. Various pictures on Matlow’s social media accounts show him with Gillum at the FAMU homecoming parade, in front of the state Capitol and marching together through the city with a crowd carrying a mix of “Rattlers for Gillum” and Matlow campaign signs.
The first-term Commissioner even used one of those photos in a direct mail ad that tied his campaign hopes directly to Gillum.
“Gillum for Florida. Matlow for Tallahassee. Matlow will continue Tallahassee’s work as we bring it home for Florida,” the mailer reads, with a nod to Gillum’s campaign slogan.
Matlow, of course, is not accused of wire fraud. He has also not been accused of knowing about the crimes Gillum was allegedly committing during the 2018 campaign cycle. However, Matlow’s bromance could come back to haunt him as he gears up for a re-election bid against David Bellamy.