Adam Putnam Archives - Page 6 of 29 - Florida Politics

Rick Scott’s goal for final years in office: ‘Jobs, and then jobs, and then jobs’

For Gov. Rick Scott, Florida’s future priorities are the same as they are today — jobs, jobs, jobs.

The Naples Republican was one of the keynote speakers at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum in Orlando on Thursday. The governor used his speech to not only pump up his proposal to set aside $85 million for economic incentives, but also to talk about the need to create a business-friendly environment and grow jobs.

“My goal for the last 830 days is jobs, and jobs, and then jobs, and then jobs,” he said. “It’s the most important thing for a family.”

The governor ran on a jobs platform in 2010, and has remained laser-focused on job creation during his time in office. The state created nearly 1.2 million private sector jobs since December 2010, and Scott said those job gains are due in part to cuts in taxes and business regulations.

But Scott said a focus on education and public safety also has helped boost job creation.

“When I get out of office, I want people to say ‘my business has to be in Florida, because I know I can serve my customer better if I’m in Florida. I have to be in Florida because I can get a good-paying job. I have to be in Florida because my children have a better chance of living the dream of this country,’” he said. “If we’re going to continue the successes we have, we have to be more aggressive.”

Scott was one of several speakers during the 2016 Future of Florida Forum. Attorney General Pam Bondi and CFO Jeff Atwater also spoke Thursday, while Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam was the keynote speaker on Wednesday.

The annual event is meant to give elected officials and business leaders a chance to discuss plans for Florida’s future.

While the event focuses more on policy than politics, Scott did encourage attendees to stay politically active.

“When you think about your time every day, you’re busy with your business life, you’re busy with your jobs, but you have to be politically active,” he said. “You have to say ‘we’ve got to get the right people elected,’ because if you don’t, what we’ve accomplished in the last six years will end.”

Adam Putnam: Florida ‘can be the jumping-off point for the American Dream’

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has a theory.

Some of the most talented people in the world are going to end up in Florida at some point in their lives. He just wants that to be sooner, rather than later.

“I want Florida to be more than the prize for a life well lived, of success accumulated someplace else,” said Putnam during the 2016 Future of Florida Forum Wednesday. “We can be the jumping-off point for the American Dream; the place where those dreams incubate, grow, develop, and explode into something bigger.”

To do that, the state should continue to focus on long-term investments in water and education, both critical to the future of Florida.

Putnam said recent water legislation was a step in the right direction, but said the state needs to “build on that success.” The state, he said, will face a one billion-gallon-a-day shortage by 2030, and lawmakers need to apply the same principles to water as they have for other aspects impacted by Florida’s growth.

“As Floridians, we’ve internalized the price of progress, the cost of growth. We’ve internalized they’re expensive, but we need them and we expect them,” he said. “We have a transportation plan … the same thing has to be applied to water infrastructure.”

Aging infrastructure could cost the state billions over the next 20 years, leaving state and local officials to figure out how to pay for the improvements. Last week, Frank Bernardino, a consultant with Anfield Consulting, estimated it could cost $48.7 billion over 20 years to address infrastructure.

And while the focus of water discussions often centers around the Everglades, Putnam said “Florida’s water issues are not limited to the Everglades.”

“Pinellas County can’t use Tampa Bay as their back-up sewage treatment plant,” said Putnam. “If (Pinellas County) can’t afford to make those improvements, how are Hendry and Glades County (going to afford it)?”

But water — which Putnam described as “Florida’s golden goose” — is just part of the equation. Putnam said the state has to keep focusing on education. While the system has changed substantially in recent years, Putnam said there needs to be as much of a focus on career training and workforce development as higher education.

“There is nothing wrong with a dual-track approach to higher education in Florida,” he said. “A dual focus of workforce development and higher education, the elite and the highly accessible, will transform Florida’s economy.”

Putnam helped kick off the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2016 Future of Florida Forum. The annual event gives elected officials and business leaders a chance to discuss how to prepare for Florida’s future.

The 20-minute address had the feel of a stump speech, as Putnam touched on everything from economic development and workforce needs, to agriculture and growth. Putnam is widely believed to be considering a 2018 gubernatorial run, and has been a frequent speaker at Florida Chamber events across the state.

The forum, which coincides with the Enterprise Florida board of directors meeting, continues Thursday. Gov. Rick Scott, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Attorney General Pam Bondi are all expected to speak.

Rick Scott headed to D.C. to talk Zika next week

The trip is back on.

Gov. Rick Scott will head to Washington D.C., next week to push for Zika funding. The governor’s office said Scott will travel to the nation’s capital on Sept. 13 and 14.

The Naples Republican was scheduled to travel to D.C. earlier this week to meet with members of Congress and ask them to immediately pass a Zika funding package. He postponed the trip to stay in Tallahassee to monitor Hurricane Hermine recovery efforts.

The trip comes one week after the Senate failed to pass a $1.1 billion bill to help combat the spread of Zika.

There were 756 cases of Zika in Florida as of Friday. According to the Department of Health, 56 of those cases were locally transmitted. The DOH reported 84 cases involved pregnant women. Health officials believe ongoing transmissions are only taking place in small areas of two communities, Wynwood and Miami Beach, in Miami-Dade County.

And that’s where the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found another mosquito sample that tested positive for Zika. This marks the second time this month the department has detected mosquitoes carrying Zika.

“The fact that we have identified a fourth Zika-positive mosquito pool in Miami Beach serves as further confirmation that we must continue our proactive and aggressive approach to controlling the mosquito population, including our recent decision to begin aerial spraying in combination with larvicide treatment by truck,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez in a statement. “We will continue to work in close collaboration with the health and environmental experts and the City of Miami Beach to keep our community safe from the Zika virus.”

Much like the first three positive mosquito samples announced earlier this month, this sample was collected in Miami Beach.


State leaders sign off on Florida primary results

The results of Florida’s Aug. 30 primary election are now final.

The state Elections Canvassing Commission — comprising Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam  took less than two minutes to certify the results Thursday morning.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner presided over the meeting in the state Capitol. Scott, Bondi, and Putnam participated by telephone. Scott was spending the morning clearing debris Hurricane Hermine left in Tallahassee’s streets.

If the process seemed perfunctory, it was done in the interest of transparency, Detzner said.

“If someone comes and has a question or wants to have a discussion about how the results were captured, we’re happy to answer those questions,” he said. “Transparency and public access to the final part of certifying the election we think are important.”

Detzner predicted voters would flock to the polls during the Nov. 8 general election.

“We anticipate as much as 80 percent turnout,” he said. “I think the highest number in the state of Florida was 1992 — it was 82 percent. But I’m looking for a very, very large turnout.”

He expects a smooth election, as well.

“I’m confident that the supervisors [of elections] are prepared. We want to make Florida an example to the nation and the world that we know how to run elections here,” Detzner said.

There was one glitch during the primaries — Broward County released some returns before the voting was final. Detzner referred the matter to local prosecutors.

“I have not heard any follow-up from the state’s attorney’s office,” he said.

Mistakes on vote-by-mail ballots appear to be on the decline, Detzner said. Still, he urged voters to be careful.

“If they are mailing their ballots in, make sure they sign them, make sure they fill them out, make sure they put a stamp on them and put them in [the envelope].”

Mail-in ballots and early voting are extremely popular with Floridians, he said.

“They really, really like it. Some counties set records, as a matter of fact, during the primary for early voting and mail ballot voting.”

Florida finds Zika in trapped mosquitoes, 1st in US mainland

Authorities in Florida said Thursday they have found the Zika virus in three groups of trapped mosquitoes in Miami Beach, the first time this has happened in the continental US.

The Zika-carrying mosquitoes were trapped in a touristy 1.5-square-mile area of Miami Beach that had been identified as an active zone of active transmission of the virus, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a news release.

“This find is disappointing, but not surprising,” Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said. “Florida is among the best in the nation when it comes to mosquito surveillance and control, and this detection enables us to continue to effectively target our resources.”

Finding the virus in mosquitoes has been likened by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to finding a needle in a haystack, but the testing helps mosquito controllers target their efforts, and it confirms that the insects are indeed a mode of transmission as suspected. The illness spreads from people to mosquitoes to people again through bites, but the insects do not spread the disease among their own population, and their lifespan is just a few weeks.

Since July, authorities have linked a couple dozen cases to transmission in small areas of Miami’s Wynwood district and the popular South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach. Other isolated cases not linked to travel outside the U.S. also have been confirmed elsewhere in Miami-Dade county, as well as in neighboring counties and in the Tampa Bay area, totaling 47 for the state.

Putnam said Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach, and state and federal partners are continuing to work aggressively to prevent the spread of Zika.

The agency says Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control team will continue to conduct inspections to reduce mosquito breeding and perform spraying around in a 1/8-mile radius around the area where the infected batches of mosquitoes were trapped.

Officials said 95 more mosquito samples – each one containing several dozen bugs – tested negative since those three were found. Intensive trapping and testing is continuing across the region.

“As it has been from the beginning, our goal is to eliminate the cycle of transmission by eliminating the mosquitoes,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said in the news release.

Gwen Graham says she gets part of Donald Trump’s appeal

Gwen Graham cut short her trip to Tampa Thursday, returning to Tallahassee to contend with Tropical Storm Hermine, which is expected to make landfall as a hurricane by early Friday in North Florida.

The Tallahassee-based Democratic representative, already considered a leading candidate to run for governor in 2018, has been hobnobbing around the state this week. She appeared at a campaign phone bank with New Port Richey state Rep. Amanda Murphy on Wednesday before attending a house party for Hillary Clinton supporters at a private residence in Tampa. She had been scheduled to visit MacDill Air Force Base on Thursday with Kathy Castor, as well as meet up with Rod Smith in Gainesville. Both of those events were canceled, however, with the storm approaching.

Ideologically speaking, Graham is considered a centrist, and she definitely made a statement shortly after she was elected to serve in Washington in early 2015 when Graham voted against Nancy Pelosi’s election as House Minority Leader, a promise she made while campaigning against Republican Steve Southerland. Graham paints that vote as less a statement against Pelosi, and more for a change of leadership Washington.

“I believe — and this has been confirmed — that we need new leadership in the House of Representatives for Democrats and Republicans,” Graham said on Wednesday.

“The Republicans have brought in Paul Ryan, and I think it would be a very positive effect, not only on the Democrats in Congress but also in encouraging other people to want to enter into elected office, to have new, fresh leadership for the House of Representatives,” Graham said, adding that she never intended it to be criticism of the San Francisco Democrat, who she praised for becoming the first female Speaker of the House.

And while Graham’s an ardent Democrat supporting Clinton for president, she says she understands part of the appeal of Donald Trump, who remains extremely competitive in Florida, despite the fact that he has had only one campaign office in the entire state (and despite reports that he would soon open up two dozen offices, which has yet to happen).

“Mr. Trump has been able to tap into a frustration and disappointment in some areas in the way that our government is functioning, and in that respect, I don’t disagree with him,” she says. “He is a symptom of what I see at times, which is that people don’t put those that you’re elected to serve first, and when you allow partisanship to stand in the way of getting things done, then people have a rightful reason and a rightful frustration about government. I hope this is a wake-up call to those who take more of an ideological position when they’re making decisions that it’s time to get back to really governing again.”

Graham’s Democratic Party bonafides are most prominent when talking about the environment, as she rains down criticism on Rick Scott’s leadership — or lack thereof. She says if she ran the state government, she would add scientists and conservationists to water management boards around the state, and not political appointees.

On Monday, Scott announced he had selected Miami attorney and Bacardi Family Foundation board member Federico Fernandez to fill a space on the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Fernandez would replace Sandy Batchelor, a Charlie Crist appointee in 2010 who was reappointed by Scott to a four-year term in 2012. Batchelor has a master’s degree in forest conservation, and was coincidentally the lone board member this year to oppose tax cuts advocated by Scott.

“I don’t think that’s someone who actually has the expertise to be making water quality decisions,” Graham, said, adding that she agrees with recent comments by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam that water was Florida’s most important element of its economy, but didn’t believe that his, nor Governor’s Scott’s, actual water policies indicate that’s really the case.

“I don’t think you can say in one breath that you believe that water is most important for the economy in Florida, and then support something that does the complete opposite,” she said, referring specifically to the state’s Environmental Regulation Commission vote to approve a proposal by state regulators that would impose new standards on 39 chemicals not currently regulated by the state, and change the regulations on 43 other chemicals.

In July, Graham called on Scott to hold a special session to deal with the toxic algae bloom that had just then begun to engulf South Florida. In that letter, she said that in her discussions with local stakeholders, she learned the problem was the nutrient-rich stormwater runoff that flows from central Florida into Lake Okeechobee.

Scott will be coming to Washington next week, and Graham says she wants to work with him in addressing water quality in Florida as well as the growing issues with the Zika virus.

“I look forward to working hand-in-hand from a federal perspective, in building the bridges and relationships with those in the federal government that would allow us to hopefully move forward and get additional funding” for Zika.

state fair

Personnel note: Cheryl Flood is new State Fair director

Cheryl Flood will move from interim to full-time director of the Florida State Fair effective immediately, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Tuesday.


Flood also had worked for Putnam when he was a congressman representing the state’s 12th Congressional District from 2001-11.

“Cheryl’s passion for the Florida State Fair’s mission and drive to see it succeed is unrivaled,” Putnam said. “I have the utmost confidence in her experience and ability to continue to make the Florida State Fair the best in the country.”

Flood also worked for then-Congressman Putnam as district director and was promoted to deputy chief of staff, according to the release.

She was a legislative assistant before joining the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2002 as assistant director of legislative affairs, according to a news release.

Putnam left Congress in 2011 when he took over as Ag Commissioner, and Flood became the department’s director of external affairs.

Flood is a fifth-generation Floridian who “grew up on a cattle ranch east of Lake Wales and has dedicated her career to promoting agriculture,” the release said.

She graduated from the University of Florida’s Agricultural Leadership Education program with minors in Agribusiness Management and Sales, Agricultural Law, and Agriculture and Natural Resources Ethics and Policy.

The fair is held every year at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa; the next one is Feb. 9-20. Beginning in 1904, the event now attracts a half-million visitors.

The story from a primary election day in the not-too-distant future

TALLAHASSEE — Two years after Hillary Clinton became the nation’s first female president, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham has become the second woman to win a major party’s nomination for Florida governor.

Graham, an attorney and daughter of former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, held off her two Democratic rivals in a spirited primary election.

Graham now faces former state House Speaker Will Weatherford in November. The Wesley Chapel Republican edged out Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the GOP establishment favorite, in a free-wheeling, wide-open Republican primary.

The man Graham and Weatherford hope to replace, Rick Scott, easily won the Republican nomination in Florida’s U.S. Senate race. He’ll face three-term Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in the fall.

Spending only $9 million out of his personal fortune, it was the least amount Scott has spent to win an election. Instead, the still-powerful governor raised more than $30 million for his Senate campaign from the political allies who have long supported him. The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce donated heavily to “Let’s Get to Work America,” the super PAC backing Scott.

It was Scott’s nonstop fundraising after winning re-election in 2014 — especially as it became clear he would be back on the ballot in 2018 — that became one of the launching points for Graham’s gubernatorial bid. Her promise to “clean up the Governor’s Mansion” became a rallying cry for her and supporters on the campaign trail.

Graham captured 38 percent of the Democratic vote, while Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn finished second with 30 percent and Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine, despite spending more than $50 million of his own money, ended in third place with 28 percent. A handful of also-rans and gadfly candidates rounded out the results.

The clear difference for Graham was her strength with African-American voters, who were reminded in television commercial after television commercial of Tampa’s controversial “biking while black” ticketing scandal.

While Graham rarely brought up the topic, an anti-Buckhorn super PAC never let the issue drop, dogging Buckhorn press conferences with paid protestors who would buzz the events by circling around on bicycles. The video of Buckhorn jumping down from a stage to confront one of the young protestors went viral.

Levine entered the race with considerable fanfare, distributing virtual reality players to donors and reporters so they could watch the short film he had produced about his tenure as mayor.

And while the “Miami Beach Miracle” movie was the first use of VR on a campaign trail, Levine did not deliver at the box office. Polls indicated he never connected with either the conservative north Florida Democrats loyal to Graham or the voters of the I-4 corridor which Buckhorn hoped would be enough of a base to beat Graham.

The Tampa Bay area was ground zero for the GOP primary, with at least five candidates having staked some sort of claim to the state’s largest media market. Weatherford is from Wesley Chapel, Putnam from Bartow, Carlos Beruff from Parrish, Richard Corcoran from Land O’ Lakes, and Jack Latvala from Clearwater.

Beruff never stopped running for statewide office after losing to Marco Rubio in the 2016 U.S. Senate race. Although his consulting team was busy with Scott’s race, the prospect of Beruff writing another eight-figure check for his campaign kept the nucleus of his team together.

The Manatee County homebuilder parted with another $14 million in his bid to become governor, making it nearly $25 million Beruff has spent in the last two years for two losing campaigns.

Corcoran and Latvala, the two legislative powerhouses who brought the Capitol to a standstill earlier this year over Corcoran’s resistance to commit any taxpayer dollars to Latvala’s plan to build a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, really only flirted with running for governor.

Corcoran was in the race for about a month, Latvala less than that. But after the so-called “Waffle House Summit” at which Corcoran and Latvala agreed to drop their bids for governor and instead run for attorney general and chief financial officer, while backing Weatherford over Putnam, the governor’s race became a two-man affair.

Corcoran will square off against Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg in the attorney general’s race, while Latvala will face Democrat Jeremy Ring. Former House Speaker Steve Crisafulli faces nominal Democratic opposition in the race for agriculture commissioner.

For much of the race, Putnam held every advantage — in fundraising, endorsements, and name recognition. But Weatherford doggedly traveled the state, damning Putnam with faint praise.

“Adam has been a good politician for more than 20 years,” Weatherford would say, “And he would make a good governor. But what Florida needs now is a transformational governor.”

The charge of Putnam being a career politician began to stick as Weatherford won straw polls at county party meetings and the endorsements of national movement conservatives. To many observers, the Weatherford vs. Putnam race played out like the Marco Rubio vs. Charlie Crist race of 2010.

By the time Goliath noticed David, it was too late.

Weatherford heads into November knowing that Florida Republicans typically outperform Democrats in non-presidential years.

But Graham is anything but a typical politician. With her father campaigning by her side and a legion of volunteers behind her, Graham may be the Democrats’ best chance to take back the Governor’s Mansion since the days of Lawton Chiles.

On eve of primary election, Kathy Castor laments low turnout so far in Hillsborough County

Tampa Bay Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor expressed disappointment Monday that only 13 percent of eligible voters in Hillsborough County have voted by mail or at the polls heading into Election Day on Tuesday, the last day to vote in this year’s primary election.

“We can do a lot better,” said Castor, who will face Republican Christine Quinn when she runs for her seat in Florida’s 14th Congressional District this November. “People need to value their right to vote, and they need to get out there tomorrow and exercise it. Thirteen percent is pretty dismal, so we can do better.”

Castor spoke at a press conference held at the Hillsborough County NAACP branch in Tampa. Dr. Bennie Small, local NAACP chairman, attributed the paltry voting participation rate to apathy, as well as the fact that a primary election in late August doesn’t excite voters like a November general election.

Of course, there are also more than 1.5 million people in Florida who aren’t legally allowed to vote, thanks to the state’s outlier status when it comes to denying the automatic restoration of voting rights to ex-felons, or what Castor dubbed “the largest voter suppression effort in the entire country.”

Florida Democrats continue to talk about growing momentum to change that law, with Small saying, “we understand the attorney general is going to take another look it.” The law could change if Gov. Rick Scott and two of the three members of the Cabinet follow his lead. However, Scott has shown no inclination to do so.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told the Miami Herald recently she was open to reducing the wait time for ex-felons (now numbering over 10,000) to three years, but she still does not support automatic restoration for non-violent felons. Fellow Cabinet members Jeff Atwater and Adam Putnam did say they were prepared to revisit the current law.

However, most of the energy on trying to change that law is a ballot initiative being pushed by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

“We’re not going to make it in 2016, but the petition drive is very close to the number of signatures needed to have the Florida Supreme Court approve the ballot language,” said Adam Tebrugge, a staff attorney with the ACLU. “Once it’s approved, that really should give a lot of impetus this campaign. “

Another barrier to full voter participation in this year’s elections, Castor said, is the fact that for the first time in a presidential election in 50 years, the Voting Rights Act has been stripped of some its protections. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority struck down the formula used in the 1965 Voting Rights Act to determine which states and localities must “preclear” voting procedures with the Justice Department or a federal court. Nine states, most in the South, and parts of Florida and five other states were subject to the law. Hillsborough, Monroe, Collier, Hardee and Hendry counties were the ones under the VRA.

That change means that changes by local officials — say, moving a polling site — no longer has to be “pre-cleared” by the U.S. Department of Justice. “Instead, you have to go a very expensive and time-consuming route to court,” Castor said. She added that Democrats in the House will again try to pass legislation through the GOP-led House to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and restore protections removed by the high court’s decision.

Jack Latvala says Michael Bay’s ’13 Hours’ one of two reasons he’s voting for Donald Trump

Nationally and in Florida, there are many, many Republican elected officials who seem to equivocate when asked whether or not they’ll support Donald Trump for president.

Jack Latvala is not one of those Republicans.

The always-irascible Pinellas County lawmaker made it clear Friday morning that while the Manhattan real estate developer is hardly his cup of tea, there are two reasons why he won’t be holding his nose when he pulls the lever for him this fall (or scribbles in a circle next to his name, to be more accurate).

One is the power the next president has to nominate what could be multiple selections to the U.S. Supreme Court — besides the already-open seat left bare as Senate Republicans have refused to give Merrick Garland a hearing.

The other is the visceral disdain Latvala says he feels toward Hillary Clinton, a feeling he says he’s had ever since watching “13 Hours,” the Michael Bay-directed dramatic portrayal account of what happened at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, when Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

“I will tell you that it had a very profound impact on me,” the Clearwater Republican told an audience in South Tampa Friday morning.

“I do not believe that Donald Trump would leave four American employees of our country — officers of our country — in a situation like that, and never try to help them, and that’s the tie-breaker for me,” he said.

Along with the burgeoning issues with her private email server and perceptions of “pay-to-play” that those emails have shown regarding the Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s role as secretary of state during the Benghazi attack has been an issue that Republicans have attacked her on since she officially became a candidate for president last year. She testified for nearly 11 hours last October before a House committee examining the attack.

“I’ve always been a Republican, and even though I don’t agree with the choice that our party has made, I still think that he’s a whole lot better than the candidate on the other side,” Latvala said, adding that he thinks virtually any other one of the original group of 17 Republican who vied for the nomination a year ago would be leading Clinton decisively at this point of the campaign.

Latvala also questioned the conventional wisdom regarding the potential nominees for governor in Florida in 2018, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in particular, who appears to be the Republican to beat. Latvala said a party that favors Donald Trump would hardly be the same one to support someone who’s been serving in Tallahassee and Washington for almost two decades.

He mentioned Southwest Florida congressional candidate Frances Rooney, CFO Jeff Atwater and incoming Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran as the ones to watch. “Richard Corcoran is running for governor,” he said definitively.

He also scoffed at the conventional wisdom that has Tallahassee U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham in the driver’s seat for the Democrats, calling it “incredible” that because of her last name (she’s the scion of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham) she’s at the top of the charts.

He gave a shoutout to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine as possible contenders.

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