Andrew Gillum, who emerged as a fresh face in Democratic politics during his unsuccessful bid for Florida governor this year, met with former President Obama on Tuesday, according to CNN.
The reported meeting is likely to fuel speculation that Gillum, who was in Washington, D.C., to speak at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, could mount a run for the White House in 2020.
Obama has met with a handful of potential 2020 Democratic contenders at his post-presidential office in the city’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, signaling that he may be playing a role in vetting those who are hoping to claim the party’s nomination.
Gillum, who describes himself as an “unapologetic progressive,” notched a come-from-behind win in Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary earlier this year, beating out a field of more moderate — and better-funded — candidates.
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But he ultimately fell to Republican Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGOP tentatively decides on Jacksonville for site of convention DeSantis pushing to host Republican National Convention in Florida Florida bars and theaters to reopen starting Friday, DeSantis says MORE, a former congressman and loyal supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, in the general election last month after a state-mandated recount showed him trailing by fewer than 33,000 votes.
Obama endorsed Gillum during his gubernatorial bid and at one point travelled to the state to stump for him.
Still, his bid for the governor’s mansion catapulted him to national prominence among Democrats, stirring chatter that he could be weighing a run for higher office.
Gillum hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a presidential bid in 2020. Asked on Tuesday about the possibility of a White House run, Gillum told CNN: “I plan on being married to my wife. That is all I am planning.”
Democrats are expected to see a crowded field of 2020 contenders. A number of would-be candidates have indicated that they’re considering runs, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.).
Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas), who, like Gillum, gained Democratic celebrity status during his unsuccessful run for Senate in Texas, has also left the door open to a potential White House run.
The Washington Post reported this week that O’Rourke met with Obama in November. Warren and Sanders have also met with the former president, who has played an increasingly active role in Democratic politics in recent months.