Gillum Meets Obama, Fueling 2020 Presidential Bid Speculation

Written by Ann Brown

Will he or won’t he? Many are wondering if popular Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum will run for president in 2020, especially after his recent meeting with Obama in Washington.

Gillum narrowly lost to Ron DeSantis, a pro-Trump Republican and former member of Congress, in his bid to become governor of Florida. Obama supported Gillum in his effort to become Florida’s first African-American governor. The former President even stumped for him.  A state-mandated recount showed Gillum trailing by fewer than 33,000 votes.  

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Prior to his most recent meeting with Obama, Gillum was in Washington to speak at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. When asked if he plans to run in 2020, Gillum reported said: “I plan on being married to my wife. That is all I am planning.”

He added: “What I am committed to doing between now and 2020 is doing everything I can to make the state of Florida available and winnable for the Democratic nominee for president.

The Tallahassee Democrat impressed many — from people in the political machine to voters. And there has been urging for him to consider running.

Andrew Gillum
MIAMI FL – NOVEMBER 02: Former US President Barack Obama campaigns for Democratic Florida gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum and Florida Senator Bill Nelson during a political event at the Ice Place Studios on Miami 2, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Credit: Matrix/MediaPunch ***NO NY NEWSPAPERS*** /IPX

“I think he’s the future,” Reggie Cardozo, a political consultant and longtime friend of Gillum’s, told the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.  “Folks like me thought win, lose, or draw he is the future. Whatever it is he wants to do he most definitely has the ability to do. This is not a loss that hurts him or prohibits him from doing whatever he wants.”

Cardozo added: “He spoke to the electorate, to people who were wealthy and not wealthy, young and old, North and South. He’s an excellent communicator able to deliver his message to thousands of Floridians. Florida is a beast of a state to win in a statewide election and it looks like he did a great job.

A spokesperson for Obama declined to comment about his meeting with Gillum, but Obama has been meeting with several possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.  He also met with Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

“Obama has met in recent months with a lengthy roster of possible 2020 Democratic contenders, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, and his former Vice President, Joe Biden,” CNN reported.