Former Florida Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum announced Sunday that he is checking himself into an alcohol rehabilitation program after police found him in a Miami Beach hotel room with two other men and three small bags of crystal meth.
Gillum, Democratic Party’s 2018 nominee for governor, admitted to drinking too much at a wedding he attended in the city, but he denied using drugs.
Police did not arrest Gillum but what happened to him was as embarrassing as what happened to Dr. William B. Bynum Jr. then
president of Jackson State University. Police arrested Bynum February 10 during a prostitution sting in Clinton, Mississippi. Police also charged Bynum with possession of a small amount of marijuana.
Police discovered an admittedly inebriated Gillum in the Mondrian South Beach Hotel, where they also found Travis Dyson, 30, who was suffering from an apparent heart attack. Police also found Aldo Mejias and Gillum in the room. News reports claim Dyson is a male escort.
Allegedly, Gillum was too drunk to answer questions put to him by police, who did not arrest him.
A spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department said the incident is not being investigated as a criminal matter.
Gillum said the incident has led him to seek help.
“After conversation with my family and deep reflection, I have made the decision to seek help, guidance and enter a rehabilitation facility at this time,” Gillum said in a statement. “I now need to firmly focus on myself and my family. I will be stepping down from all public-facing roles for the foreseeable future.” He added that he is leaving politics.
He won the 2018 Democratic primary, becoming first African American major party candidate for governor. He narrowly lost the November election to Republican Ron DeSantis by o.4 percent of the vote. Since then he has been active in increasing voter registration.
Gillum was born in Miami and raised in Gainesville, Florida. He attended Florida A&M University, where he was president of the FAMU Student Government Association. In 2003,the university awarded him a bachelor’s degree in political science.
From 2014 to 2018, voters elected him the 126th mayor of Tallahassee.
He is married to R. Jai Howard, a fellow Florida A&M graduate. The couple are the parents of three children.