Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said he's not concerned that an ongoing FBI probe into the city he governs will imperil his 2018 gubernatorial bid.
"I don't fear for myself," Gillum told the state's political reporters and editors during Thursday's annual AP Day. "If I did, I wouldn't continue to run for governor because what's most important to me is that Democrats win next year."
Gillum defended his openness about the case. He blunted criticism that his city is charging prohibitive fees for public records by insisting that his own office has released complete records. He downplayed reports of high crime by citing a recent survey by WalletHub that calls Tallahassee one of the best places to start a small business.
"I'm still extremely proud to be a member of this community," Gillum said. "We'll be able to get over this tough hump."
As for his gubernatorial campaign, Gillum said he was the only Democrat who could deliver a win. The last two gubernatorial races were razor thin losses for Democrats. The party needs a candidate, like him, who reflects Florida's population and can inspire higher turnout, said Gillum.
"You shouldn't have to come from well-heeled families, have a famous name or the ability to stroke your own check to fund your campaign," Gillum said, a swipe at his Democratic opponents. "Regular people should run."
Because what's important, he said, is who turns out on Election Day.
"We are a 1 percent state," Gillum said. "If that's the case, we can't have a candidate who is milquetoast who doesn't inspire anyone."