Gwen Graham Archives - Florida Politics

Politicians offer support after Hurricane Maria

Politicians released statements Thursday urging support for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Caribbean countries following the devastation left by Hurricane Maria.

Gov. Rick Scott said he called the governors of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands offering support and anything they need.

“Our hearts go out to them and they are in our prayers,” said the governor at a stop Thursday to thank Seminole County first responders for their service during Hurricane Irma.

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto also contacted Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s office and offered to lend federal recovery resources.

“It is heartbreaking seeing the damage Hurricane Maria caused our neighbors, including widespread flooding, destruction of infrastructure and wiping out electricity in all of Puerto Rico,” said Soto, whose father was born in Puerto Rico.

During a FEMA visit in Jacksonville Wednesday, Soto spoke with Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen about gathering support for Puerto Rico in the FEMA supplemental package. Soto said he will write a letter to the United States Department of Homeland Security requesting additional support to ensure the island has sufficient funding to handle the crisis.

“In the short-term, we need to make sure that FEMA is prepared to address the Island’s immediate needs, such as supplying food, water, and medical supplies to all citizens,” he said in a statement released Thursday. “As we reflect on how to better prepare for future natural disasters, we need to improve both Florida’s and Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure by moving more power lines underground and replacing wooden poles with cement pylons where appropriate. Let’s make strategic, sustainable investments so we can be ready for the next storm.”

The congressman plans to visit Puerto Rico in the next few weeks to assess the damage and recovery efforts on the island.

“The devastation in Puerto Rico and its Caribbean neighbors is heart wrenching and catastrophic,” said State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who is working with community organizations to mobilize funds and supplies to those most in need in Puerto Rico. “What is important for Floridians to know is that now is the time to step up and help our fellow Americans on the island.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham wrote to Florida’s two senators and twenty-seven congressional representatives asking them to support relief and recovery funding for fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help the islands rebuild after hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Just as we helped our neighbors in Florida, we must now stand with our neighbors in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, who just days after enduring Hurricane Irma, have been hit by Hurricane Maria, another devastating storm,” Graham wrote in her statement.

Jack Latvala swears off electric cash, urges utilities to stop political donations

State Sen. Jack Latvala called Tuesday for electric utilities in Florida to stop donating to political campaigns and instead spend the money on improving their power grid infrastructure.

Latvala is a Republican gubernatorial candidate from Clearwater, has received electric company money in his political committee, Florida Leadership Committee, but not nearly as much as his Republican rival Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam has in his Florida Grown political committee.

While acknowledging that he’s accepted money from utilities in the past, Latvala says he will not in the future.

“Hurricane Irma showed us just how vulnerable we are with 6.5 million Floridians losing power after the storm,” Latvala stated in a news release issued by his gubernatorial campaign.

“In my home county of Pinellas, which was by no means the hardest hit area in the state, I heard from residents this week that were still without power. It’s time the utilities stop spending money on political candidates and instead protect the residents of this state.”

The release said state records shows in the 2018 election cycle the state’s largest utilities have already donated more than $3.6 million to candidates from both parties.

That includes $25,000 Duke Energy gave to Latvala’s Florida Leadership Committee in July. It also includes $250,000 Florida Power & Light donated to Putnam’s Florida Grown committee in January. Both committees also have received power company checks in previous years.

None of the three major Democratic candidates, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Winter Park Developer Chris King, and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, have received any power utility money this year.

Latvala acknowledged the money spent on campaigns “may not solve the entire problem.” After all, the utilities contend they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to harden their electrical systems.

“But it will be a good start,” Latvala stated. “And I’m sure the thousands of Floridians who are still struggling to live without electricity would be more than happy to hear our state’s utilities will stop political donations and instead focus on their welfare and needs.”

Gwen Graham: Hurricane Irma showed Florida isn’t as prepared as it should be

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham believes Florida should have been better prepared to handle the impact of Hurricane Irma.

“The state of Florida was not ready for this storm,” Graham declared Saturday night. The 54-year-old attorney and former Tallahassee-area congresswoman made the comments while delivering the keynote address before a record crowd at the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee’s annual Kennedy-King Dinner in downtown Tampa.

Graham said the destructive storm – which hit the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane last Sunday morning before moving its way through the state, proves that state lawmakers need to address climate change and comprehensive hurricane preparedness.

Considered the establishment favorite, Graham began her 19-minute speech by talking about the selfless acts performed by Floridians throughout the state during what was an excruciatingly stressful time.

Graham’s Hurricane Irma experience involved setting up and supervising a shelter at Richards High School in Tallahassee. She said that all the preparations had been done correctly at that shelter, “but when the power went out across the state of Florida, it became clear that we were not as ready as we needed to be.”

Governor Rick Scott has received mostly laudatory reviews, even from Democrats, for his handling of the storm. But Graham didn’t go there. She insisted that her criticisms weren’t political , but practical, saying that the state has to be better prepared for when the next major hurricane comes Florida’s way.

“They have been decades in the making,” she said about the lack of proper preparation. “Hurricanes have grown stronger, but the state has not done nearly enough to prepare us for the changes we’re witnessing.”

Graham blasted Scott for prohibiting state agencies for even using the words “climate change,” and said she would act in a completely different and proactive way in trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Florida. Those measures would include joining states like California and New York in what is being called the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change. She also said she would ban oil drilling off Florida beaches and ban fracking throughout the state.

Referring to how the roads running to North Florida were clogged for days as people evacuated before Irma’s arrival, Graham criticized Scott for not reversing southbound traffic on the major interstates and state roads. But she said the state wasn’t prepared to do that because that would have cut off gas and emergency crews from reaching South Florida.

“Supplying every community is vital, which is why the state must develop a plan before the storm, capable of reversing highway lanes and also allowing for providing crucial needs for those south,” she said. “The day will come when we must reverse traffic to once again evacuate major cities, and the state must have a plan and a willingness to do that.”

Graham then spoke about the biggest tragedy connected to the storm – the news that eight elderly patients died at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after the nursing home lost power. Democrats have seized on the incident, with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson calling it “an emerging scandal of gargantuan proportions.” Graham has called for an investigation and made a public information request for Scott’s cellphone records shortly after a CBS affiliate in Miami reported Friday that the executives at that nursing home called Scott’s cell phone asking for help getting their power back on.

Graham cited legislation proposed in 2004 that would have considered safety measures to protect seniors in nursing homes — legislation that she said was stopped by industry lobbyists who said it was “too expensive.”

“Eight Florida seniors died because our system failed them,” she said. “They died, in part, because elected leaders failed to see the real cost, the human cost.”

Graham then threw a jab at House Speaker Richard Corcoran, saying that an hour after the media first broke the news about the deaths in Hollywood, Corcoran was tweeting about tax rates. “It’s a sickening example of how the politicians in Tallahassee have the wrong priorities for the wrong people,” she said.

Corcoran is contemplating a run governor; Adam Putnam and Jack Latvala are the only two major Republicans to have entered the race to date.

The other two Democrats in the race are Orlando-area businessman Chris King and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who showed up to the VIP party before the dinner began and earlier spoke to more than 100 people at a Tampa craft brewing pub.

Still lurking in the shadows are two Democrats who bring tremendous financial resources to the race if they opt to enter it – Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and attorney/entrepreneur John Morgan.

DEC officials said 450 tickets were sold to the event, the most in the history of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party.

Local Democrats Karen Clay, Betty Castor and Tom Scarritt were all given awards earlier in the evening.

Democrats batter Rick Scott over nursing home tragedy

Democratic candidates for governor are hitting Gov. Rick Scott and others hard in the wake of eight deaths in a South Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning as Hurricane Irma hit the state.

But Scott’s office defended the governor’s actions, saying the facility never reported “that conditions had become dangerous.”

A criminal investigation by Broward County law enforcement in underway into the deaths at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, including whether they were heat-related or from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum called for an independent investigation, slamming Scott for giving out “a special priority phone line – then fail(ing) to act when they received distress calls.”

“I am calling for a full independent investigation into this matter,” Gillum said in a statement. “The investigators must have full access to all public records and transcripts of communications, meetings, and conference calls between the Governor, his Office, and healthcare facilities in preparing for Hurricane Irma.

“In Tallahassee, we learned after Hurricane Hermine that communication is vital between first responders, government, and our most vulnerable populations,” Gillum added. “This year we took the proper steps of assigning utility workers as direct points of contact with nursing homes and other urgent care facilities, and we prioritized their power restoration during Irma.”

Former Tallahassee Congresswoman Gwen Graham also issued a statement that she had filed a public records request “for all call logs, text messages, and voicemails to a private emergency phone number Rick Scott distributed to healthcare providers.”

Scott, a Naples Republican, was formerly head of a for-profit hospital chain.

“There must be an immediate, independent investigation into reports Gov. Scott distributed a private line to healthcare providers and then ignored pleas for help,” Graham said. “It is 100 percent the governor’s responsibility to do everything in his power protect every Floridian.”

But Scott spokesman John Tupps said in an email “every call made to the Governor from facility management was referred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health and quickly returned.”

“At no time did the facility report that conditions had become dangerous or that the health and safety of their patients was at risk,” he said. “In fact, on Monday, Department of Health staff advised this facility to call 911 if they had any reason to believe that their patients were not safe.”

The office also provided background material that the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills “reported into the state’s facility status monitoring database 17 times since Thursday, Sept. 7. Throughout the course of these reports, the facility never requested any assistance or reported the need for evacuations.”

Until 1:30 p.m. this Tuesday, “the facility reported that they had full power, that heating, cooling systems and generator systems were operational and they had adequate fuel.”

By 5 p.m. that same day, “the facility reported that they had partial power, but that their heating and cooling systems and generator were operational. They did not request anything beyond help with FPL,” referring to Florida Power & Light.

Then on 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, “the facility (again) reported that they had partial power, the generator was operational and they had adequate fuel supply. At that time, they reported their heating and cooling systems were not operational.”

A joint statement from the Department of Health and Agency for Health Care Administration Friday evening added that it is “100 percent the responsibility of health care professionals to preserve life by acting in the best interest of the health and well-being of their patients.”

“Let’s be clear—this facility is located across the street from one of Florida’s largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities,” the statement said. “The tragic and senseless loss at Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center is the subject of a criminal homicide investigation by law enforcement.”

In an interview with FloridaPolitics.com earlier Friday, Winter Park businessman Chris King lashed out over what he described as longtime state neglect of senior housing concerns.

“The Broward tragedy I think is another example exposing what I hope I’m getting across throughout the state, which is for a very long time there’s been very little leadership on housing and on aging issues,” King said.

“My concern is less on what happened in Broward and more the decision making that created that environment, and why we’re still not out of the woods in the larger issues of housing and aging, and why the state is in an absolute crisis,” he added.

Scott is term-limited as governor next year but is said to be considering a run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

Some gubernatorial candidates return to the campaign trail; some don’t

Agricultural Commissioner and GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam was scheduled to appear this coming Monday night at a meet and greet event at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, but now he won’t.

The Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee announced Friday that the event has been canceled until further notice. Although no reason was given, it’s highly likely that as a Cabinet member, Putnam needs to focus on his day job while the state deals with the aftershocks of Hurricane Irma ripping through the state last weekend.

“As our Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam is involved in hurricane response efforts, ranging from search and rescue to food and water distribution,” read a press release issued out by Putnam on Friday.

The Ag Commissioner says the storm stripped 80 percent of fruit from trees in Southwest Florida, another blow to an industry already decimated by citrus greening.

“A 70 percent crop loss on a crop that is 70 percent smaller than it was 20 years ago presents a unique and existential threat to the industry and the processing capacity of the state,” Putnam said Thursday.

Two of the leading Democrats running for the top job in the state, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, will be in Tampa Saturday.

Actually, Gillum was in the Bay area on Friday, helping serve meals to those affected by the storm at the South Pinellas Food Bank at the Enoch Davis Center in St. Petersburg. On Saturday, he’ll appear at a meet and greet at 7eventh Sun Brewery in Seminole Heights between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (6809 N. Nebraska Avenue in Tampa).

He’ll also make an appearance at the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee Kennedy-King dinner reception at the Hilton Tampa Downtown later in the afternoon. That’s where Graham is scheduled to give the keynote speech at the annual fundraiser for Hillsborough Democrats later in the evening.

In the lead-up to Irma’s arrival, Graham and her husband Steve helped set up and supervised a shelter for three days in Tallahassee. She also volunteered a full shift with Feeding Northeast Florida and at Jacksonville City Rescue.

 

Philip Levine raises $250K in August

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine dumped another $66,000 of his own money into his political committee last month, according to a new campaign finance report filed with the Florida Division of Elections.

Levine, a Democrat, is considering a run for Florida governor, and has even publicly mused about running as an independent if he were to jump into the race.

Including his own money, Levine brought in $251,015 for “All About Florida” last month. The top outside contributor was Stamford, Connecticut-based TCC Air Services at $50,000, followed by New York City resident Bobby Hematian at $25,000.

Expenditures came in at just $38,000, including $8,000 to Matthew Van Name for campaign management, $6,000 to Edge Communications for consulting work, and $5,000 to Sayfie Media for event sponsorship.

Through the end of the month, the committee had raised a total of $4.77 million and had only spent about $116,000. Levine was the source of more than $2.6 million of that money.

If he entered the race for governor as a Democrat, he would be the best-funded candidate, followed by former Congresswoman Gwen Graham of Tallahassee.

Her most recent campaign finance numbers show her with about $1.7 million in the bank for her political committee, “Our Florida,” and another $577,000 on hand in her campaign account.

Jack Latvala joins call to save DACA

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Latvala joined the chorus of so far mostly Democrats calling for preservation of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program to let young, undocumented immigrants stay in the United States.

Latvala, the state senator from Clearwater, directed his call not at President Donald Trump, who has signaled he will end the President Barack Obama program as early as Tuesday, but at Congress and the Republican Party.

The push to preserve the program, which provides limited protected status to as many as 800,000 people nationally, and more than 100,000 estimated in Florida, has come out from numerous Democrats, but only a few Republicans, notably U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“We must lead with a compassionate heart, not by punishing children,” Latvala said in a statement first published on Facebook, then released by his campaign. “Florida is a diverse state and our economic success depends on a strong diverse workforce. If DACA ends in 6 months it will have a disastrous impact not only on hundreds of thousands of bright, promising young people but also on our business climate.”

Latvala’s statement came shortly after Democrats, notably Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham, publicly challenged him and fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam to speak out on the plan.

Latvala then turned that challenge to the rest of Republicans in Florida.

“Congress has dropped the ball on this issue like so many others,” Latvala stated. “It’s time for Congress to pass a law protecting Dreamers. I call on other leaders of the Republican Party in Florida to join me in supporting these children so they can come out of the shadows and legally secure jobs.”

Graham, the former congresswoman from Tallahassee, and fellow Democratic gubernatorial candidates Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park developer Chris King all issued strong statements supporting DACA and urging its preservation. Gillum declared that a revocation of DACA would be a “moral stain.” King called such a move “cruel and misguided.” Graham called it “unconscionable.”

Putnam, Florida’s agriculture secretary, has not made a statement regarding DACA.

Democrats have been pushing for weeks to raise awareness of young adults who were brought without visas to America as young children, or who have overstayed their visas while growing up, and the program that allows them to stay under certain conditions.

Those eligible have been dubbed “DREAMers” after the the “Development Relief And Education For Alien Minors” bills filed several times by pro-immigration members of Congress in recent years.

 

Florida Democrats thrash decision to end DACA

President Donald Trump plans to announce Tuesday that he will end an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants brought into the country as children, which quickly drew the ire of Florida Democrats.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, allows nearly 800,000 young immigrants, known colloquially as “Dreamers,” a reprieve from deportation as well as renewable two-year work permits.

An estimated 95 percent of the immigrants in the program are either working or attending school.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former congresswoman Gwen Graham was among the first to blast Trump’s plan when the news leaked Sunday night. Fellow Democratic candidates Chris King and Andrew Gillum quickly followed suit.

“THESE ARE INNOCENT HUMAN BEINGS,” she tweeted. “Our friends and neighbors. This is unconscionable.”

The North Florida Democrat, who is the daughter of former governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, was more measured in an official campaign press release, saying that Trump and Florida Republicans “are playing politics with young people’s lives.”

“Dreamers might not have full citizenship, yet, but they are still Floridians — and, as governor, I will defend them,” she said.

King called Trump’s decision “cruel and misguided” and he and Gillum also pledged to support and protect the Dreamers if elected next year.

“These young people have been educated in our schools, opened businesses in our neighborhoods, and made significant contributions to our economy. Ripping families apart, and punishing innocent children for the actions of their parents, is not in line with Florida values,” King said.

Gillum said axing the program was “as wrongheaded as it is heartless” and said he was “deeply saddened” on behalf of Florida Dreamers.

“When we deport children who have never known another country, we have truly lost our moral standing on the world stage,” he said.

About the only thing the three Democrats weren’t aligned on is the number of Dreamers who call the Sunshine State home. Graham cited 50,000, while King said 70,000 and Gillum claimed upwards of 100,000.

Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was among the few GOP officials to slam the plan, voicing her disapproval over Twitter Sunday.

“After teasing #Dreamers for months with talk of his ‘great heart,’ @POTUS slams door on them. Some ‘heart’…” she said.

Ben Ray Luján, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, blasted out an email about an hour after the story was first reported by POLITICO.

“President Trump’s cowardice on DACA threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding young people and is a disgrace. In Trump’s absence of leadership and compassion, House Republicans must move immediately to work with Democrats, codify DACA into law and do everything possible to protect Dreamers,” he said in an email.

State Rep. David Richardson, who is running for congress, echoed Luján’s leadership angle, saying the president’s decisions “are not the actions of a great leader, or for that matter any kind of leader.”

“This is yet another example of the President singling out the most vulnerable among us for incredible levels of anguish – he builds up the level of hate to reinforce the acceptance of prejudice,” he said.

CD 27 candidate Mary Barzee Flores added that the decision “is going to have a devastating effect on American families and communities.”

“I’m hard pressed to think of a more callous policy than putting 800,000 children and young adults in trembling fear over having their lives uprooted in virtually the only country they’ve ever called home,” Flores said.

Trump’s plan would phase out DACA after six months, and those within the president’s inner circle warned that he could change his mind in the interim.

The delay in the formal dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, would be intended to give Congress time to decide whether it wants to address the status of the so-called Dreamers legislation, according to two people familiar with the president’s thinking. But it was not immediately clear how the six-month delay would work in practice and what would happen to people who currently have work permits under the program, or whose permits expire during the six-month stretch.

During his campaign, Trump slammed DACA as illegal “amnesty” and vowed to eliminate the program the day he took office. But since his election, Trump has wavered on the issue, at one point telling The Associated Press that those covered could “rest easy.”

The expected announcement would come as the White House faces a Tuesday deadline set by Republican state officials threatening to sue the Trump administration if the president did not end the program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report, reprinted with permission.

Bill Nelson and Rick Scott virtually tied, new poll shows

A new poll of the likely 2018 U.S. Senate race finds Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and likely challenger Gov. Rick Scott virtually tied.

The Florida Atlantic University poll, scheduled for release Tuesday, shows Nelson with 42 percent support compared to 40 percent for Scott.

“It is very early with many undecided voters,” wrote FAU political scientist Kevin Wagner.

The poll also took stock of the race to replace Scott as governor and found nearly half the voters for both parties – 47 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans – had not yet decided who they would support during primary season.

Republicans picked Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam with 27 percent support, followed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran at 10 percent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis at 9 percent and Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala at 2 percent.

Only Putnam and Latvala have launched campaigns.

Democrats’ top pick is John Morgan, who picked up 19 percent support despite not being in the race, followed by former Congresswoman Gwen Graham at 14 percent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum at 9 percent, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine at 8 percent and Orlando Businessman Chris King at 4 percent.

Levine, like Morgan, has hinted at a run, but has not yet entered the race. He has also played around with the idea of running as an independent in 2018.

The biggest dividing line between voters is how the Sunshine State should handle guns.

Over half of Democrats, 54 percent, said the state should outlaw guns in public places, while 55 percent of Republicans hold the opposite view.

About a fifth of Republicans are in favor of “open carry” gun laws, so long as a person is licensed, while only 16 percent of independent voters and 9 percent of Democrats felt the same way.

Just 8 percent of respondents said residents should be able to openly carry firearms without a license.

The survey was conducted by the FAU Business and Economics Polling Initiative and took in 800 responses from registered voters through the internet and robocalls. It has a margin of error of 4 percent, while the polling questions on the Democratic and Republican primaries have a margin of error of 7 percent, due to smaller sample sizes.

Contributions slow for Democratic gubernatorial candidates

The three Democrats running for governor are in the middle of a slow fundraising month according to recently updated reports from their political committees.

Though Gwen Graham and Chris King haven’t set the world on fire, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum continues to flounder on the fundraising trail, and unless the specter of his email scandal or the cloud of his tangential connection to a Tallahassee FBI investigation magically disappear his contributions are likely to remain flat.

The first-in Democrat hasn’t brought in a dime through “Forward Florida” since July 14. That $10,000 contribution came from homemaker Lu-Shawn Thompson and made up the whole of the committee’s income that month.

His expenses haven’t slowed as quickly. Since Aug. 1, Forward Florida has spent about $70,000. The Florida Democratic Party received $65,000 of money, with the remainder split among various fees for software, shipping and travel.

King’s committee, “Rise and Lead Florida,” shows only a single $1,000 check from Winter Park Marketer Ross Johnston so far this month, while its expenses clock in at about $60,000.

FDP took in $50,000 from the committee, with another $2,000 heading to Coral Gables-based Martinez Consulting Group and the remainder split across travel, shipping and mileage reimbursements, though SD 40 Democratic nominee Annette Taddeo received a $500 contribution from the committee.

Graham has been the fundraising leader in the Democratic Primary for a while, and though her August numbers aren’t record breaking, her competition has kept the bar low.

Our Florida” has brought in $54,500 since the start of the month, including $25,000 from BLS Investments CEO Bernard Schwartz, $10,000 from health care software entrepreneur Michael Singer of Alachua, and $5,000 a piece from homemaker Alina De La Cruz and retiree Michael Beebe.

The committee’s expenses are only at $4,000 so far, with the bulk of that going to Atlanta-based credit card processing company First Data.

Current data puts the committees’ on hand totals at $1.73 million for Our Florida, $525,000 for Rise and Lead Florida, and about $139,000 for Forward Florida.

Campaign finance reports for the full month are due Sept. 11.

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