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Andrew Gillum Taps Brendan McPhillips as Campaign Manager

November 28, 2017 - 12:15am

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has finally hired a new campaign manager, four months after his previous campaign manager resigned from his team.

On Tuesday, Gillum announced Brendan McPhillips would be joining him as his campaign manager. 

McPhillips, who previously worked in Pennsylvania, has been involved with high-profile political campaigns in the past. He previously served as the political director for Hillary for America in Pennsylvania and worked as the campaign manager for John Fetterman’s 2016 U.S. Senate race. 

Neither Clinton nor Fetterman were successful in Pennsylvania and Fetterman’s run for Washington was short-lived. He was defeated in the Democratic primary last year. 

Gillum’s campaign team doesn’t seem to be too worried about McPhillips’ record. 

“Brendan is an unapologetic progressive who will bring new ideas to this race, and help us ensure true Democratic values are a part of every conversation between now and Election Day,” said Gillum’s communications director Geoff Burgan.

McPhillips touted Tallahassee Mayor Gillum’s progressive values and work against pro-gun groups as just some of the reasons Gillum was the right choice for Florida. 

“I know that in 2018 we are finally going to take back the Governor’s Mansion,” he said. “We won’t get there by running Republican Lite -- we have to be bold to convince this state that it is time to put a Democrat in charge again.”

Gillum’s campaign has been struggling since it began. 

He has been without a campaign manager for four months after Phillip Thompson resigned in July. Finance director Brice Barnes also departed at the same time, leaving the gubernatorial hopeful with a skeleton staff. 

Gillum has had numerous setbacks during his bid for governor, with an FBI investigation into Tallahassee casting a dark shadow over the state’s capital city. 

Gillum has also struggled immensely to raise money, strapped with thousands of dollars in legal fees as his opponents outraise him each month.

Despite being the first Democrat to officially declare his candidacy for governor, Gillum has had a difficult time raising enough cash to keep his campaign afloat.

October was no different for Gillum, whose bid for governor seems to be largely under water. The Tallahassee mayor came in last in overall fundraising numbers, with his Forward Florida political committee actually losing $500 in October. 
The committee only reported one donation of $2,500 from Virginia entrepreneur Jeff Moten, but had to pay out $3,000 to Tallahassee communications firm P & P Communications Inc. 
On top of that, the committee spent $64,000, leaving Gillum in the red for the month of October. Gillum ended the month with only $31,000 cash on hand. 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen


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