Former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum (D-FL), who narrowly lost a 2018 governor’s race to Republican Ron DeSantis, announced Sunday he plans to leave politics for the “foreseeable future” and seek treatment for alcohol dependency.
“This has been a wake-up call for me,” said Gillum in a written statement Sunday, according to Politico. “Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse. I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated. 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,” revealed Gilllum, reports NBC News. “I want to apologize to my family, friends and the people of Florida who have supported me and put their faith in me over the years.”
According to The Tallahassee Democrat, following his failed governor’s race Gillum was employed as a contributor at CNN, where he made his television commentary debut alongside former presidential candidate John Kasich (R-OH).
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Gillum was in a Miami Beach hotel room last weekend when someone else allegedly overdosed on crystal meth.
Police officers report that after they arrived at the scene, they were unable to communicate with Gillum because he was too inebriated. A witness who was in the hotel room with the 40-year-old former mayor says Gillum was vomiting in the bathroom before police arrived.
According to The Los Angeles Times, police officers were called to the scene after another person in the room overdosed on an unknown substance. The individual was taken to a hospital and has since become stable.
In a statement after the incident, Gillum explained that he was at the hotel for a wedding, and assured people he was not under the influence of crystal meth, nor has he ever taken the drug.
“I was in Miami last night for a wedding celebration when first responders were called to assist one of my friends. While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines,” said Gillum, reports Miami Herald journalist David Smiley.
“I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement. I’m thankful to the incredible Miami Beach EMS team for their efforts. I will spend the next few weeks with my family and appreciate privacy during this time,” he said.
According to the police report, officers responding to the scene “observed in plain sight three small clear plastic baggies containing suspected crystal meth on both the bed and floor of the hotel room. The three small baggies of suspected narcotics were impounded at the Miami Beach police station property and evidence unit for destruction.”
According to The New York Times, Gillum later left the hotel room, and the incident is not being investigated as a criminal matter.