Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King has picked up the endorsement of the mayor of Eatonville, Florida’s oldest town incorporated as an African-American city.
Eatonville Mayor Eddie Cole‘s endorsement is a double triumph for King, one of his first from elected officials, and a leader in the Orlando-area’s black community.
Eatonville, incorporated in 1887, is just a couple miles from King’s business offices in Winter Park.
“For some folks, Chris may be a new face, but I’ve known and felt the impact of his work in Central Florida for quite some time. From his work in affordable housing to his philanthropies in public schools, I know Chris to be a man of character, hard work, and inclusion,” Cole stated in a news release issued by King’s campaign.
“Florida is failing to meet the basic needs of its citizens – most acutely where jobs, housing, and health care are concerned. As the mayor of Eatonville, I’ve seen how far our community has come and how far we have to go,” Cole continued. “I’ve also seen how for too long communities of color have been forgotten, while elected officials pay lip service to both the unique and common challenges we face. I know with Chris we’ll have more than just a seat at the table: a real partner in bringing about economic change here in Eatonville and across the state.”
King faces Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham seeking the Democratic primary nomination to run for governor next year. Republican candidates include Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and state Sen. Jack Latvala, who formally kicked off his campaign Wednesday.
“Eddie Cole’s support means a lot to me,” King said. “Mayor Cole has spent his life in service to others and his community. I am committed to partnering with him and all of our leaders across the state as we remake the Florida economy into one that lifts up all communities, not just those with access to the powerful.”