Andrew Gillum selects former Democratic opponent as running mate

Chris King pegged as Gillum's choice for lieutenant governor

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has selected former Democratic candidate for Florida governor Chris King as his running mate, Gillum announced Thursday on Facebook.

The Tallahassee mayor is the first black gubernatorial candidate in Florida history.

King is an American businessman from Orlando who founded Elevation Financial Group and is also a board member of Grace Medical Home.

Ahead of announcing his choice for lieutenant governor, Gillum thanked people for their support, including those who didn't vote for him in the primary election, but are backing him now.

"It is most important that we win back this state for everyday working people again," he said. "We need to treat healthcare as a right and not a privilege. You get that all over this state, affordable housing is a crisis and we got to do everything we can to ensure access to accessible and affordable housing for more people in this state."  

Gillum said he wanted to pick someone for lieutenant governor who he felt also had the ability to be Florida's governor and who would be the best partner in helping to lead the state.

The Next Lieutenant Governor

The wait is over — meet your next Lieutenant Governor! Let’s #BringItHome together, Florida.

Posted by Andrew Gillum on Thursday, September 6, 2018

"When we met Chris and Kristen we saw that they had those same values -- partnership," Gillum's wife, R. Jai Gillum, said. "More importantly, your family, your faith -- things that are really important to us, as well, and I'm just so excited."

R. Jai Gillum said she and Kristen will hit the road, speaking to Floridians across the state in support of their husbands. 

"We are going to change the state of Florida," she said.

King also expressed his excitement to have the opportunity to potentially serve as the lieutenant governor.

"This is not a political marriage. This is not a marriage of convenience," he said. "You know, I developed a friendship with Andrew Gillum over 18 months as we were competing."

Gillum's Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, announced that state Rep. Jeanette Nunez will serve as his running mate. Nunez, who represents the Kendall area in Florida's 119th District, is the first Cuban-American woman to run for lieutenant governor.

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