Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum announced that Chris King is his pick to be lieutenant governor in a Thursday morning Facebook Live.
Watch the announcement, featuring Gillum, King and their wives, R. Jai and Kristen, here.
“We leaned into wanting to choose an individual that has the ability to be the governor of the state of Florida,” Gillum said in the announcement before introducing the Kings.
King, who ran against Gillum in the Democratic gubernatorial primary but placed fifth, was all but certain to be the pick Thursday. That morning, Gillum’s campaign appeared to launch www.gillumking.com, a website touting the ticket.
But King joining the ticket marks a change in the Orlando-area businessman’s thinking since the campaign for governor. In a July interview, the CEO and president of Elevation Financial Group told the Times that the LG position is "not really something that I feel led to do.”
Still, it had long been clear that King and Gillum were friends and allies. In a June gubernatorial debate, King fielded a question about the FBI investigation into the Tallahassee city government. Instead of using the opportunity to attack Gillum, King defended the Tallahassee mayor.
“I have gotten to know Andrew Gillum over the last year pretty well. I’ve probably spent more time with Andrew than my wife,” King said that night in Pinellas Park. “And I can tell you, Andrew is a good and noble public servant.”
During the Democratic primary, King ran alongside Gillum at the left flank of the field of candidates, advocating for criminal justice reform, more affordable housing and a tax on bullets to finance public education. He also often invoked his faith on the trail, arguing that fighting for better living conditions in Florida was a part of his Christian mission. But he spent some $7.8 million on the campaign — much of that his own money — and got just 2.5 percent of the primary vote.
Before running for governor, the Harvard-educated King, 39, earned millions running a company that bought dilapidated buildings and refurbished them into affordable housing units. He is married with two sons and a daughter.
On Thursday, King said Gillum painted the announcement as a joining of their families.
“Our families are coming together. And we are going to fight beside and behind the Gillum family,” King said.
Read more about the job of Florida lieutenant governor — and how it got that way
On Wednesday, Miami state lawmaker Jeanette Nuñez was confirmed as the running mate for the GOP’s nominee, Ron DeSantis.