Democrat candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum on Thursday selected Orlando businessman Chris King to be his running mate. Gillum and King got to know each other while both were running for governor. Despite spending $5 million, King finished last in the five person race.
Tallahassee Mayor Gillum made the announcement live on Facebook. Both were joined by their wives.
“I am thrilled to welcome Chris King to the Democratic ticket this fall as our Lieutenant Governor. Chris has brought new and dynamic leadership to this state, and his innovative policy ideas and business acumen will help us move Florida forward,” said Mayor Gillum. “We’re going to build an economy that works for everyone, by training workers for good-paying jobs, expanding access to health care and ensuring every Floridian has a fair chance to succeed. Chris is going to be instrumental in our work to rebuild Florida.”
King, who describes himself as a “progressive entrepreneur,” founded a company that provides affordable housing to seniors and working families in Florida and across the southeastern United States while paying living wages starting at $15 an hour, covering employees’ health care costs and paying annual bonuses to every worker.
“Kristen and I are honored to join with Andrew and R. Jai and bring our families together on this critical campaign,” King said. “The Gillums also have two sons and one daughter, but that’s not the only thing we have in common —— our families are deeply committed to our communities, our faith and the future of our state. Mayor Gillum and I also share a passion for education and job training that gives people the opportunity to succeed in today’s economy. Together, we will stand up to the divisive politics of Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump, and we will offer Floridians a new vision that lifts people up, brings us all together and unites this state.”
King and his wife Kristen have three children — Charlie, Mary Grace, and Luke.