Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum's campaign said last month that he received a ticket from his brother to see Hamilton on Broadway back in 2016, but newly released records show an undercover FBI agent, who was posing as a developer, bought him the ticket.
The Florida Democrat's campaign sent out a press release on Sept. 4 saying that he received a ticket for the show from his brother, Marcus. The campaign said, "After the trip, Mayor Gillum learned Marcus Gillum had obtained that ticket in a swap with [former lobbyist] Adam Corey for a concert ticket."
Gillum's campaign repeated this narrative Tuesday in response to the release of records given to the ethics commission, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
"These records vindicate and add more evidence that at every turn I was paying my own way or was with my family, for all trips, including picking up tickets from my brother, Marcus, who was with a group of his own friends," Gillum said in a statement. "But this isn't about a Broadway show, it's about a sideshow, because Ron DeSantis and his associates have no vision, no healthcare plan, and are running the most false, negative campaign in Florida history. Floridians deserve better."
Text messages indicate, however, that Gillum knew the ticket was a favor from someone he thought was a developer.
Text messages between Gillum and former lobbyist Adam Corey, who arranged outings with undercover agents looking into city corruption, were among more than 100 pages of records Corey gave the ethics commission, which is investigating trips to Costa Rica and New York that Gillum took in 2016.
Corey's lawyer, Chris Kise, released the records today, just two weeks before the election, because the state ethics commission issued a subpoena for the records just last week.
The text messages show that, contrary to what his campaign has said, Gillum knew the tickets came from "Mike Miller," who was an FBI agent posing as a developer looking into city corruption.
"Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.," Corey texted Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016.
"Awesome news about Hamilton," Gillum replied, according to the records.
Gillum's Republican opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis, asked him during Sunday's debate whether he paid for the Hamilton tickets, prompting him to avoid a direct answer.
"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 Republican Governors Association slammed Gillum for being "caught in an extraordinary lie," adding that he "can’t be trusted to be honest with Florida voters."
"After claiming that he never took anything that he didn’t pay for himself, Andrew Gillum has now been caught in an extraordinary lie," RGA communications director Jon Thompson said. "With new evidence showing that Gillum did in fact accept Hamilton tickets from FBI agents, he has once again proven that he can’t be trusted to be honest with Florida voters."