The age-long argument that leaders are born not made comes to mind when one examines the life of this young well-celebrated leader. Andrew Gillum is a politician who ventured into politics and took up leadership positions at a young age. He became a commissioner when he was still in college and twenty-three years old. He was also the (126th) Mayor of a city in Florida called Tallahassee. Andrew Gillum belongs to the democratic party and has represented the party on different capacities. In November 2018, he was its candidate to run for the office of the Governor of Florida, however, he lost the race to Republican Ron DeSantis, the Jacksonville native, and Harvard/Yale School alumnus.
Who Is Andrew Gillum (Bio, Age, and Background Details)
Born in Miami, Florida on the 26th of July, 1979, to Frances and Charles Gillum, Andrew is the 5th of his parent’s 7 children. His mother was a school bus driver and father a construction worker.
Despite Andrew Gillum’s humble family background, he was determined to achieve his life potential. He discovered what he wanted to be early in life and worked towards achieving his goal. He was named one of the Gainvesville’s persons of the year after he graduated from high school in 1998.
He then proceeded to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee to study Political science. It was at the university that Andrew Gillum was shaped into the leader that he is today. He served in different leadership positions which in turn got him many accolades and recognition for his selflessness.
Mr. Gillum became the first student to become a member of the school Board of Trustees. He was president of the Student Government Association in FAMU between 2001-2002. He was also a member of the board at the ‘Black Youth Vote Coalition’ and got recognition as an ‘Emerging Leader by the ‘Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’ in 2003.
Andrew Gillum’s Political Career
Andrew Gillum’s venture into mainstream politics occurred while he was still in the University. He got elected into the Tallahassee City Commission for a year at twenty-three years.
Upon graduation, he contested in 2004 for a full four-year term and won with a landslide having 72 percent of the vote. He also got re-elected in 2008.
Having spent his schooling years and work years in Florida, Andrew has an understanding of what makes Florida and its people tick, as a result, he was able to champion laudable and meaningful projects that an average Florida native can benefit from.
Chief amongst his project is the ‘Digital Harmony Project’ – which provides every new 6th and 7th grader a new desktop computer with online academic curriculum on core subjects and free Internet access.
Andrew Gillum also advocated and championed the launch of a Teen Center in Tallahassee – The Palmer Munroe Center. The center has been used for a restorative justice program and has been a safe haven for youths in the area.
Thanks to a good track record as the City Commissioner, Andrew was elected as Mayor in 2014. During his tenure, he spearheaded several laudable projects and rejuvenated different city procedures.
The vibrant Andrew contested for the office of the ‘Governor of Florida’ in 2018 and made history as the first black Democratic nominee for Governor in Florida. He, unfortunately, lost to Republican candidate – Ron DeSantis by a slight percentage of 49.6% to 49. 2%.
Among his many achievements as the National Director of the “Young Elected Officials Network” is the connection of elected officials under 35 years of age in a network geared towards supporting them with personal and leadership development. He has received several awards and recognition for his exemplary leadership.
The Former Mayor of Tallahassee’s Wife
The 6 ft 3 inches tall politician met Rashada Jai Howard when they were both students at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). She has a BSC in Biology and further studied for a Health, Policy, and Management degree in the same university.
Ironically, they never dated while in college even though they were both part of the Student Government Association. They finally got together after school, went on a date and got married on the 24th of May 2009 despite their one year age difference with Rashada being older.
The former Mayor of Tallahassee counts himself lucky to have married Rashada. He describes her as an epitome of grace in all ways. She is brilliant and has had an eventful career in the public health service. They have 3 kids (Twins- Jackson & Caroline, and Davis) together.