The last couple of weeks of any election are undoubtedly the most crucial. As candidates are campaigning around the clock to pull off the win and are looking to reach as many people as possible leading up to election day.
With just over a week to go in a crucial gubernatorial election in Florida, Republican candidate Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum are similarly looking to maximize their exposure. But, the increased campaigning also runs the risk of saying something which could cause a blip in the final days and it seems Gillum may have faltered.
As the Daily Caller reports, Gillum joined the “Pod Save America” podcast where he looked to dispel rumors that he was anti-law enforcement.
Gillum clarified that he supports law enforcement officers but said he believes there should be some sort of “police accountability.”
He said: “We’ve got to navigate in my state the fact that they think I’m Mr. Break-The-Law and all this other stuff that they say. God knows I don’t want to give life to it, but all the stuff that they say, I’ve got to let them know — anti-police? No, I’m for police accountability.”
In his attempt to quell the controversy, Gillum may have caused another by saying law enforcement would “go too far” should they draw a weapon.
“Law enforcement society cannot work, and quite frankly, law enforcement can’t do it’s job, if it does not have a trusting relationship with the community,” Gillum continued. “At the time that a law enforcement official has to go to a weapon, to a gun, to a baton, to a taser, they have already had to go too far.”
According to the report, Gillum is facing heat for signing a “Freedom Pledge” by the Dream Defenders:
The primary goal of the Dream Defenders is to abolish private prisons, with its mission aimed at black Floridians. The Freedom Pledge, which addressed a multitude of issues with law enforcement, compares police to plantation slave owners and further explicitly calls police and prisons racist.
The pledge also states that signees will “fight for a Florida that divests from prisons, detention centers, guns and police.”
Some people online had an issue with the comment:
An we get this guy to do a ride along with the police. He won’t last a mile. Such disrespect for our men and women in law enforcement it’s disgusting
— Teri Carbajal (@DirtyDadeTeri) October 27, 2018
This guy needs to go away. Make it happen November 6th.
— Jeff Wilson (@jwpi) October 27, 2018
What is Florida thinking? This race shouldn’t even be close!!
— Robert Woods (@rawoods24) October 27, 2018
If, God forbid, this guy gets elected, the state of Florida is in deep trouble! Also, bet it’s not a drug dealer, illegal immigrant, or tv pundit that would be protecting him……pretty sure it’ll be a brave law enforcement officer.
— Mama G (@MamaGill10) October 27, 2018
The police must have the tools to defend themselves in order to defend the public…
— Jeff Tabor (@JeffTabor7) October 27, 2018
I want to have faith in the voters of Florida. I hope they don’t elect this guy or I firmly believe their state will quickly turn into California 2.0 . If they elect him then they have only themselves to blame. This midterm election determines the course of the Republic.
— Dan Horn (@danhorn1901) October 27, 2018
It is also being reported that a political action committee supporting Gillum accepted a bribe from an undercover FBI agent, per Tallahassee:
An undercover FBI agent posing as an Atlanta developer seeking to do business with the city of Tallahassee was billed for food and drinks for a 2016 fundraiser for Mayor Andrew Gillum’s nascent political action committee, documents released Friday show.
The Forward Florida PAC would eventually become the war chest for Gillum’s gubernatorial campaign. It is the first piece of evidence linking an ongoing FBI probe to Gillum’s broader campaign for statewide office.
The emails and receipts released Friday as part of a supplemental records request from the Florida Commission on Ethics show that the agent, Mike Miller, was invoiced $4,386 by 101 Restaurant and Mint Lounge, a restaurant owned by lobbyist Adam Corey at the time. An email exchange shows that Miller paid the bill and that Gillum sent him a personal thank you note for the food.
— emilyplacido (@emilyplacido) October 27, 2018
Politico reports that Gillum did not know why the event went unreported:
In a statement from his campaign, Gillum said he did not get a contribution or in-kind contribution from Miller; the campaign did not provide any additional details. Follow-up questions about who paid for the fundraiser and why it was not reported on campaign finance reports were referred to Corey’s legal team.
During a Friday campaign stop at Bethune Cookman, Gillum told reporters he did not know why the fundraiser was not reported.
“First, I have done fundraisers all over the place and it’s a little bit above my pay grade to be involved in some of those details,” Gillum told reporters. “My recommendation would be, Adam Corey is probably the best person to answer those questions. I believe that the staff who was responsible for handling contributions probably did their job, and take them at their word that everything was done appropriately.”