In the race for Florida Governor, if anything, Gwen Graham is audacious.
As well as announcing a “strong fundraising streak” through November, a new email from the Democratic hopeful makes a bold declaration — her campaign “has more supporters” than any other candidate in the race, either Democratic or Republican.
That’s quite a statement for a Democrat in a state controlled by Republicans for the past 20 years.
“While [Republicans] Adam Putnam and Richard Corcoran continue to fill their campaigns with special interests’ donations, we are taking on Tallahassee’s self-serving politicians and building a grassroots campaign to put real Floridians back in charge of our state,” Graham said.
Graham is backing up her self-assurance with some solid numbers — more than $300,000 raised for eight consecutive months, bringing in more than $240,000 in her campaign account, as well as more than $100,000 for her political committee “Our Florida” — totaling more than $350,000 in November.
In her bid for Governor, the former North Florida congresswoman now has raised more than $4.36 million dollars, as with about $2.78 million on hand.
While those numbers are impressive, what about the statement of “more supporters than anyone else?”
Good question; Graham added more than 1,400 new grassroots donors in just the last month, meaning she now has more than 11,500 unique supporters — more people than any other candidate in the race.
According to Matt Harringer, Graham’s communications director, the numbers of supporters are solid — using state records — and speak for themselves. Among Democrats, Philip Levine has 604; Andrew Gillum, 8,451 and Chris King, 1674. As for Republicans, Jack Latvala has 2681; Putnam, 10,133 and Corcoran, 569.
It is this metric that Graham’s campaign says will become the strong foundation to take the ultimate challenge in Florida — facing a Republican in the general election.
Graham takes a parting shot at “Tallahassee Republicans” who are preparing for the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session the same way they have for more than two decades — holding committee week fundraisers with lobbyists.
“While they’re partying in Tallahassee,” Graham says her campaign “traveling the state building support from real Floridians and talking about the issues that matter to them.’
This leads to her boldest statement of all — that she “will take back the governor’s office and set Florida on a brighter path forward.”
While it’s too early to tell how the Governor’s race will ultimately pan out, there’s little doubt Graham has an abundance of confidence in both herself and her campaign.
We’ll see if that’s enough.