Andrew Gillum Is Leaving Politics for Rehab

'This has been a wake-up call for me,' says former Florida gubernatorial candidate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2020 2:57 AM CDT
Gillum Headed to Rehab After Florida Incident
In this Nov. 10, 2018 photo, Andrew Gillum the Democrat candidate for governor speaks at a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla.   (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

Andrew Gillum is stepping back from politics and entering rehab after being found in a Miami Beach hotel room with an overdose victim and several bags of crystal meth. "This has been a wake-up call for me," he said in a statement Sunday night, per WESH. "Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse." He asked for privacy and said he plans to enter a rehab facility. Police say the 40-year-old, who narrowly lost the Florida governor's race to Ron DeSantis in 2018, was too "inebriated" to talk when he was found in the room early Friday. Police say no arrests were made.

Gillum denied using crystal meth but admitted having too much to drink. "I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated," he said in his statement Sunday. "I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles. I will be stepping down from all public facing roles for the foreseeable future." The former Tallahassee mayor will be giving up the leadership of Forward Florida, a political committee he founded to register voters in the state, Politico reports. He will also be ending his appearances as a paid commentator on CNN. (More Andrew Gillum stories.)

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