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Tallahassee mayor, Miami native Andrew Gillum running for governor

Gillum touts second chances for criminals, jobs at 'every rung' of income

Andrew Gillum announced that he will run for Florida governor next year. (City of Tallahassee)

MIAMI – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is running for governor of Florida in 2018.

Gillum, 37, announced his intentions Wednesday on Facebook and Twitter.

The Democrat also released a nearly six-minute YouTube video, called "Bring It Home," in which he discusses his vision for Florida's future.

"Growing up in Miami, every one of my older brothers had some kind of criminal background history," Gillum said in the video. "There might be a knock at the door and be a police officer telling my mother that my brother had gotten in trouble and that she or my dad would need to come and see about him. I remember very distinctly my mother closing the door and just watching tears well up in her face. I remember making the promise to myself that I wasn't going to make my mom cry like that, that she was going to cry, because she was happy."

Gillum spoke about a Florida that provided second chances for criminals who have paid for their mistakes.

"Our society doesn't look well on people who have a criminal record," Gillum said. "I believe firmly that people deserve second chances, that you make mistakes, you break the law, you pay the penalty, but that you ought to be given a second chance. Yet, we punish people for a lifetime for a mistake."

Gillum was born in Miami, the fifth of seven children, before moving to Gainesville, where he graduated from high school. Gillum then moved to Tallahassee, where he graduated from Florida A&M University.

When he was 23, Gillum made history by becoming the youngest person ever elected to Tallahassee's city commission. He was elected mayor in 2014.

Gillum touted a Florida that "puts people to work at every rung on the income level."

"As governor of Florida, I can't wait to invest the kind of resources to build the infrastructure of this state that makes us a 21st century state," Gillum said. "I can't wait to have an education system that rewards teachers, that educates children, creates an opportunity to learn for all of them, because regardless of what anyone says, it is still true that access to a good quality education can be the difference between living in inner-generational poverty and deciding for yourself whether or not you're going to have a different future that allows you to keep a roof over your head and food on the table and a good job that doesn't require you to have to have three jobs just to make end's meet."

Gillum, who is married with twins, is the first person to enter the governor's race.


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