Winter Park businessman Chris King mulling gubernatorial run - Florida Politics

Winter Park businessman Chris King mulling gubernatorial run

Winter Park businessman Chris King is mulling a 2018 Democratic run for governor in Florida, sources close to him said Monday.

While not highly active in Central Florida political circles, King, president and CEO of Elevation Financial Group in Winter Park has been exploring prospects, with national consultants based in Washington D.C., of an outsider’s run with a mixture of liberal social and business-oriented views.

Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Obama alums Larry Grisolano of AKPD Message and Media and Jeremy Bird of 270 Strategies are closing to joining King’s team.

The son of Marilyn and David King, the latter the Orlando lawyer who represented the League of Women Voters in its successful Fair Districts Amendments legal fights with Florida that forced the state to redistrict Senate and congressional seats, T. Christopher King, 38, runs a company that invests in and manages real estate.

He has spoken at length with the Orlando Sentinel about the need to spur development of affordable housing, and last summer published a guest column in the Sentinel urging Christian churches to embrace the LGBT community, following last summer’s massacre at the popular Orlando gay nightclub Pulse.

King, a Winter Park High School graduate, holds an undergraduate degree in religion, politics and American public policy from Harvard University, where he was elected class marshal; and a law degree from the University of Florida, where he won mock trial competitions.

If King enters the race, he could wind up in a primary battle with several other Democrats, including fellow Orlando-area lawyer John Morgan and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee.

King told Smith that “we have to make a decision in the next 30 to 60 days.”

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