Donna Deegan returns five-figure contribution from Andrew Gillum
Donna Deegan is among the first clients.

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Deegan said running to return trust to government starts with how she runs her campaign.

Donna Deegan, a candidate for Jacksonville Mayor, has returned a donation from Andrew Gillum’s political operation. Other groups started announcing on Friday they too would give money back.

The move comes two days after federal prosecutors indicted Gillum, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor, on 19 charges stemming from campaign finance fraud.

While Deegan said she wants due process to play out in court, she’s taking steps to distance her campaign from any scandal around the source of the money.

“In my family, we say ‘when in doubt, do the next right thing,’” Deegan said.

“I believe Andrew deserves the opportunity to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Until we know the outcome, it seems to me the next right thing is to return the contribution from Forward Florida, and we have done so. I very much want to bring trust and transparency back to our city government. That starts with how I run this campaign.”

Gillum’s political committee, Forward Florida, on June 16 donated $25,000 to Donna for Duval, a political committee controlled by Deegan, which was before the indictment was made public.

During the gubernatorial campaign, Deegan has been a strong supporter of Gillum, and expressed to the media she was crushed at his loss to Gov. Ron DeSantis by just over 32,000 votes.

She issued a statement on Wednesday expressing dismay at Gillum’s indictment.

“I was devastated by today’s news about Andrew Gillum’s indictment,” she said.

“As many of you know, I have been a longtime supporter of Andrew, both on the campaign trail and as a friend. While today’s news is heartbreaking and concerning, the spirit of Andrew’s campaign is something I still believe in and am campaigning on today: more inclusion in our community and in every level of elected office, affordable and accessible health care, and economic opportunity for all — not just the chosen few. As we await the outcome of this case, Andrew and his family are in my prayers.”

The Equal Ground Education Fund also returned $25,000 donated by Forward Florida on June 13.

“Equal Ground Education Fund received a $25,000 contribution from Forward Florida to support our C3 non-partisan civic engagement work as the preeminent Black-led voting rights organization in Florida,” said founder Jasmine Burney-Clark. “Since the date of that contribution, we have learned of Mr. Gillum’s indictment and the Political Committee in question. Today we have returned the funds to the political committee. As the judicial process proceeds, we will monitor the outcome of the case.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


5 comments

  • sociailist Donna Deegan

    June 25, 2022 at 6:36 am

    Donna, we know you are a socialist

  • Harold Finch

    June 25, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Welll, no big surprise from a progressive democrat whpo is totally dilusional!! She needs to just go back to her breast cancer work, she can’t win.

    • dee

      June 25, 2022 at 5:12 pm

      lets hope she does not win, esp if people do not know her socialist agenda!

  • Dr. Juan Gray

    June 27, 2022 at 11:00 am

    We have two systems of justice in America. One over zealously prosecute people of color. The others ignore the crimes of others at best. Gilliam finds himself a victim of this dual system of justice. Donna and others are trying to cover their asses. We need politicians with backbones and stand for ” truth”.
    “You who are without sin – cast the first stone”.

  • Dr. Juan P. Gray

    June 27, 2022 at 11:04 am

    We have two systems of justice in America. One over zealously prosecute people of color. The others ignore the crimes of others at best. Gilliam finds himself a victim of this dual system of justice. Donna and others are trying to cover their asses. We need politicians with backbones and stand for ” truth”.
    “You who are without sin – cast the first stone”.

Comments are closed.


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