Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham has launched her first television commercial in the Tampa and Orlando markets, a spot that introduces her as a mom, PTA president, daughter of Bob Graham, and someone who seeks to take back Tallahassee from Republicans.
The 30-second spot “Service” begins with collages of Graham’s life with her children and as a PTA president, and then turns to pictures of her with her father, as a narrator declares that while in Congress she applied the lessons she learned from him. It then turns to her only overt political message.
“Twenty years with one party, right?” she says. “Everything with all the wrong priorities. The Florida Legislature has not taken Medicaid expansion, they have hurt education, they have used the lottery to reduce funding, but we’re going to take it back.”
Her campaign announced Monday that the commercial would play in the Tampa and Orlando markets with more than $1 million in the initial buy. Her campaign has bided its time in turning to TV commercials, while some of her opponents have taken to the airwaves earlier.
Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has been blanketing television statewide since January. Winter Park entrepreneur Chris King began his TV advertising in mid- May. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum does not yet have any official TV commercials out, but he’s been supported by a TV campaign from the Collective Super PAC.
This week Palm Beach billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene has entered the field.
On the Republican side, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also has had commercials out for a couple of months, while U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis has had almost daily appearances on FOX News.
The introductory moments of Graham’s new ad subtly focus on her being the only woman in the field, and the following shots, many of them following her around various job sites in her “WorkDays” program, emphasize her empathy for individuals, with her trademark hugs.
“Everything I do is through the prism of being a mom,” Graham states.