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June 24, 2022

Floridians Dodged a Bullet

But for a handful of votes in the 2018 governor’s race, Sunshine Staters would be living in a radically different place than the prosperous one they enjoy today.

Elections. They have consequences.

First, though, this is not a story about the federal indictment of Andrew Gillum — the former mayor of Tallahassee and the guy whom Ron DeSantis just barely edged out four years ago in the Florida governor’s race. Nor is it a story about a “rising star” in the Democrat Party who ended up naked and unconscious on the floor of a South Beach motel room in March 2020, snuggled up next to a pile of his own vomit after having done some booze and crystal meth and other stuff with a male escort.

No, this is a story about how the citizens of Florida dodged a bullet. About how they came within a whisker of being led by Governor Andrew Gillum. As the Miami Herald reports:

The 21-count indictment was unsealed Wednesday following his arrest. Gillum and his political adviser, Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with each count carrying a maximum of 20 years in prison. Gillum is also facing a count of making false statements to the FBI, which carries a maximum of five years in prison. Federal prosecutors allege that Gillum, 42, and Lettman-Hicks, 53, diverted money from his political committee to pay Gillum directly, defrauding campaign mega-donors and organizations that believed they were donating to legitimate political causes. The indictment also accuses Gillum of lying to the FBI about his infamous 2016 trip to New York, which dogged the final months of his campaign for governor.

The indictment confirms that undercover agents, posing as business people looking to get government contracts in Tallahassee, paid for Gillum’s lodging at the Millennium Hilton hotel, his food and drink, a boat ride around New York Harbor and a ticket to the Broadway show “Hamilton.” Gillum never disclosed the contributions and denied them when he officially met with the FBI in 2017, according to the indictment. He told reporters during his campaign for governor that his brother had given him the ticket to “Hamilton.”

“Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity,” said Gillum. “Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political. There’s been a target on my back ever since I was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and I have full confidence that my legal team will prove my innocence now.”

We’ll see about that. But just think: But for 34,000 votes out of more than eight million cast, Andrew Gillum would be governing the state of Florida. And its people would today be feeling the consequences.

And Ron DeSantis — the native Floridian with the blue-collar roots, the guy with degrees from Yale and Harvard Law School, the former U.S. Navy JAG officer and Iraq War veteran, the former congressman — wouldn’t have been able to lead a lockdown-free Florida through the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping its economy humming and its people safe despite having perhaps the nation’s most vulnerable population. He wouldn’t have been able to keep the Sunshine State’s schools open, nor get rid of vile critical race theory in Florida’s curricula, nor ensure that the state’s kids learn about the evils of communism, nor sign tough anti-rioting legislation, nor stand up to the petulant and vindictive mainstream media, nor revoke the special status of the woke wackos at Disney.

None of that would’ve happened unless just enough Floridians had thrown a lever for him in 2018. As it turned out, Florida lucked out, and DeSantis beat Gillum by four-tenths of a percentage point.

Today, DeSantis, who at age 43 is our nation’s youngest governor, is running for reelection. And he’s favored to win comfortably this time. And if he does, this smart, popular, and energetic governor may well be better positioned than anyone in the country to be our next president — Donald Trump included.

But four years ago, his fellow Floridians nearly kicked him to the curb in favor of a smooth-talking, alcohol-guzzling, drug-abusing, orgy-loving Democrat fraudster.

We’ll say it again: Elections have consequences.

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