Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate, was aware that tickets he received to a Broadway show were purchased by an undercover FBI agent he thought was a land developer, according to more than 100 pages of records given to the state ethics commission and released to the public Tuesday.
The records, which were provided to the commission by an attorney representing Adam Corey, a lobbyist and longtime friend of Gillum’s, include text-messages between Corey and Gillum, and indicate that Gillum lied on numerous occasions in claiming he was unaware who purchased the tickets when he attended the play.
“Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.,” Corey texted Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016, referring to one of the two undercover FBI agents who attended the trip to New York while posing as land developers with business before the city.
“Awesome news about Hamilton,” Gillum replied.
The ethics commission is currently probing trips Gillum took to New York and Costa Rica that were arranged by Corey.
In a September 4 press release issued after the FBI investigation into corruption in Tallahassee city government came to light, Gillum’s campaign claimed he learned after the trip to New York that his brother, who also attended the trip, bought the tickets.
“After the trip, Mayor Gillum learned Marcus Gillum had obtained that ticket in a swap with Adam Corey for a concert ticket,” the press release read.
Gillum’s Republican opponent in the gubernatorial campaign, Representative Ron DeSantis, raised the issue of potential corruption during their debate Sunday.
“Did you pay for the Hamilton tickets?” DeSantis asked.
“First of all, I am a grown man,” Gillum replied. “My wife and I take vacations and we pay for our own vacations. . . . I don’t take free trips from anybody. I’m a hard-working person. I know that may not fit your description of what you think people like me do, but I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve gotten in my life.”
The Real Clear Politics polling average has Gillum leading DeSantis by 4.7 percentage points roughly two weeks before election day.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that a Real Clear Politics polling average had DeSantis leading Gillum by 6.7 percentage points.