“Intoxicated” ex-mayor apologizes

Former governor candidate Gillum caught up in Miami hotel drugs incident

Andrew Gillum, a rising Democratic Party star who narrowly lost his 2018 run to be Florida’s governor, has apologized after being found by police early on Friday in a state of intoxication in a Miami Beach hotel room, with three bags presumed to be crystal meth and a friend being treated for a suspected drugs overdose.

“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,” Gillum said in a statement to the Miami Herald.

“I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement,” the former Tallahassee mayor, 40, added, apparently referring to his work with Forward Florida Action, his voter registration advocacy group.

He says he’ll spend the next weeks with his family and would “appreciate privacy during this time.”

Miami Beach police say they were called to the Mondrian South Beach hotel early on Friday where they found paramedics given treatment to a man, and while they were there Gillum was vomiting and was too intoxicated to talk with them. Police say a later “welfare check” by Miami Beach fire rescue found Gillum to be in good health, and the politician left and “went to his residence”. There were three bags of a substance believed to be drugs in the room, the report said.

The episode is not being treated as criminal, police say.

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