Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine appears ready to announce a bid for Florida’s governorship Wednesday, with what his consultants call an important announcement in Miami about the future of Florida.
Levine, a Democrat who has openly discussed the prospect of running for governor either as a Democrat or an independent, has set a 10:30 a.m. event Wednesday in the Wynwood District of Miami.
While not yet running, Levine has been leading all Democrats in raising money toward the governor’s race, with more than $4.7 million in his All About Florida Political Committee, with most of that, $2.5 million, coming from his own wallet. The Miami Beach mayor has made a fortune from companies he founded, principally providing support services to the cruise line industry.
He’s also spent plenty of money, with All About Florida shelling out $83,000 in the last two months on various consultants.
Already in the race for the Democrats are former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, developer Chris King of Winter Park, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. The Republican frontrunners are Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam of Bartow and state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater.
This summer Levine toured the state by bus for a radio show he produced for SiriusXM satellite radio, an effort that officially was not political, but took him to all corners of Florida.
Levine started his business empire with Onboard Media and now has a broad portfolio of businesses and real estate. Though he was described in some media as a billionaire, he told Florida Politics earlier this year that he is not a billionaire.