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Democratic U.S. House candidate Gwen Graham greets voters outside a voting precinct in Panama City, Fla., on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/The News Herald/Panama City, Fla., Andrew Wardlow)

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Gwen Graham at women’s march: ‘We need a woman’ in governor’s mansion

Against the backdrop of a sea of people marching for women’s rights in Miami, the lone female gubernatorial candidate said Sunday the state needs “a woman to clean up the mess in Tallahassee” after 173 years of men being at the helm.

“Today we march for the same causes that women have marched for 100 years to vote, and we are all going to get out and vote,” former Congresswoman Gwen Graham told the crowd.

Graham is the front-runner in the 2018 Democratic primary. In public polling, she leads the four-way race with 14 percent of the vote. Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is in second with 7 percent of the vote, according to a new poll by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. But that could change soon as Levine spends big early in the race.

Along with Levine Graham faces Orlando businessman Chris King and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the Democratic primary. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis will face each other in the Republican primary. House Speaker Richard Corcoran is expected to also vie for the Republican nod.

In the state’s history, no woman has made a successful bid for the governor’s mansion, but women have attempted before, including Alex Sink in 2010 and Nan Rich in 2014.

Graham remained hopeful about her chances over the weekend.

“In January 2019, we are all going to continue marching, and we are going to march in inaugural parades all over the state of Florida when we, together, elect the first woman governor of Florida,” she said.

“I look forward to being that governor.”

Women’s marches were held across the country last weekend, including in many locations in Florida.

Written By

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.

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