Gwen Graham Archives - Page 3 of 84 - Florida Politics

Markets predict Gwen Graham, Ron DeSantis wins on Tuesday

The worlds of gambling addicts and political junkies converge with futures markets like PredictIt or Iowa Electronic Markets, where the game of election prognostication gets serious.

Pollsters put plenty of effort into gauging whom voters will elect, but you have to check these markets for folks with real skin in the game.

Would Gwen Graham be a smarter bet to win the Democratic nomination than Philip Levine?

How wild a bet would it be for Republicans to hold the U.S. House next year?

And where do gambling politicos place their bets when it comes to Florida politics?

PredictIt

A project of the Victoria University of Wellington, PredictIt allows investors to buy shares in political outcomes and converts the results into U.S. cents. Basically, you can invest in an election result where the market sets the odds, and you get $1 once the outcome becomes clear if your bet was right.

Right now, you can still jump into the market for outcomes on the Tuesday primary elections, including major Florida races.

As of Sunday night, the market for the Florida Democratic primary was selling Gwen Graham at 79 cents and Philip Levine at 20, despite many polls showing the two frontrunners neck and neck; Andrew Gillum goes for just a nickel.

On the Republican side, the market gives greater odds for Ron DeSantis at 87 cents, while Adam Putnam sits at 16 cents.

Source: PredictIt

The market for the Democratic primary of Florida’s 5th Congressional District offers good news for incumbent Al Lawson, whose victory is selling at 95 cents.

In the 9th District Democratic fight, incumbent Darren Soto is selling at 92 cents while challenger Alan Grayson trades at 14 cents.

That means Soto is going for almost as much as incumbent Stephanie Murphy, selling for 94 cents in the 7th, where Chardo Richardson has been marked down to 5 cents.

In the 6th District Republican primary, Republican Michael Waltz goes for 85 cents while John Ward goes for 18.

In the 27th District Democratic primary, a Donna Shalala victory goes for 92 cents. On the Republican side, the market sells Maria Salazar at 98 cents and Bruno Barreiro at just 7.

IEM

The nonprofit Iowa Electronic Markets, operated by the University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business, remains the only political futures market legally operating in the United States. It creates a futures market on real-world events that operates like a stock market.

This market looks at who will control Congress once the 2018 elections run their course. You can bet, for example, on whether Republicans will hold the majority in the House with 217 seats or more, or bet against that outcome. And you can place a bet on whether the GOP gains seats at all.

A look at the House markets as of Sunday night shows most betting against the Republican House. The last price on the bet of the GOP having a minority sat at 0.73, compared to a 0.131 price on Republicans keeping the chamber and a 0.141 bet on Republicans gaining seats.

But the Senate remains a different story. The last price as of Sunday on Democrats taking the chamber rang in at 0.251, while the price of Republicans barely keeping a majority came in at 0.384 and the possibility of the GOP gaining seats landed at 0.349.

Like stocks, you can also see how the markets change over time. For example, you can see that over the last month, the market on Republicans holding the House plummeted. In the same time, the market on Republicans holding the Senate slightly increased.

Source: Iowa Electronic Markets

Gwen Graham committee gets late cash infusion

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham’s political committee raised $3.3 million in the closing weeks of the primary campaign, with big chunks coming from Emily’s List, teachers’ unions and Graham’s father, former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, a new finance report shows.

The committee Gwen Graham for Florida raised the money from Aug. 11 through Thursday and spent nearly $3.37 million during the period.

The biggest chunk of money, $750,000, came last week from Emily’s List, which works nationally to elect Democratic women candidates who back abortion rights.

The committee also received $500,000 from Bob Graham; $400,000 from a National Education Association fund; $150,000 from the American Federation of Teachers; and $50,000 from the Florida Education Association.

Gwen Graham also contributed $250,000 to the committee, the report shows.

Graham is competing in Tuesday’s Democratic primary against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and businessman Jeff Greene and Chris King.

‘Pissed off’ Philip Levine slams NRA, no-show Republicans after Jacksonville weekend carnage

According to the final poll of the Democratic race for governor, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has faded with voters, down by 10 with a day left to go.

However, polls weren’t driving his itinerary for at least part of Monday.

In the wake of a weekend bookended by high-profile mass shootings after a high-school football game Friday night and a Madden video game tournament Sunday afternoon, Levine came to Jacksonville Monday — to rally the vote, and to (as likely nominee Gwen Graham did earlier in the day) talk gun law reform.

Levine used the front of the Jacksonville Landing, a time-ravaged, half-vacant riverfront mall built 30 years ago and made famous globally after the latter incident, as the backdrop as he addressed statewide and national media.

“To tell you that this is becoming way too regular an occurrence in Florida is an understatement,” a “pissed-off, infuriated” Levine said.

“What happened on Friday at Raines High School, what happened just behind me, what happened at Pulse nightclub, what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas … this continues to happen in Florida … the Gunshine State,” Levine added, with the “weakest gun safety laws in the nation.”

“The NRA, which stands for Not Responsible for Anything,” Levine said, “we’re going to make sure we defeat them.”

Levine was equally blunt regarding Republican candidates Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis, who canceled Jacksonville appearances after the mass shooting Sunday, in which two people were killed and 11 wounded.

“Radical Ron,” said Levine, “stands with Donald Trump … sided up with the NRA, so the bottom line is we know where he stands.”

Levine noted Putnam “was in charge of concealed weapons permits,” a process that was “messed up.”

“Only two jobs the guy has: to make sure that people who get concealed weapons permits have great background checks that are thorough and to make sure our citrus industry continues to grow, and he messed that up,” Levine said.

Public financing before primaries hits $4.84 million

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis drew the largest amount of public matching funds last week, as the overall total going to statewide candidates before Tuesday’s primary elections neared $5 million.

DeSantis and three other gubernatorial candidates — Republican Adam Putnam and Democrats Andrew Gillum and Gwen Graham — have combined to receive nearly $3.73 million in public funding since late July.

Statewide candidates need to voluntary apply for matching funds, with several declining to do so. Under the program, the state matches contributions of $250 or less from individual donors.

Overall, the state has handed out $4.84 million so far for the 2018 elections. For the 2014 primary and general elections, Florida sent out $4.3 million to candidates using the program. In 2010, 10 candidates received $6.1 million from the program.

The program has long faced criticism, including from a couple of candidates in this year’s elections who call the distributions a waste of taxpayer dollars.

On Friday, the Florida Division of Elections sent $144,209 to six of the eight candidates who have qualified for matching funds, though the amounts last week were relatively small compared to earlier checks.

DeSantis, a Northeast Florida congressman, received $55,110, which raised his matching-fund total to $975,836.

Putnam, the state’s two-term Agriculture Commissioner who is going up against DeSantis in the Republican primary, didn’t receive any money last week. Putnam has drawn about $1.04 million from the program.

Graham, a former congresswoman who received a $33,922 check from the state on Friday, has received more than $1.2 million through the program.

Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor, got a check for $29,377 on Friday and has received $495,065 from the state.

In the race for attorney general, Democrat Sean Shaw, a state House member from Tampa, picked up a check for $8,818 from the state on Friday. Shaw has drawn $205,276 in matching funds.

A Leon County circuit judge Friday issued a ruling to decertify Democrat Ryan Torrens from the race for attorney general because of a qualifying-related issue. Torrens, who is appealing the ruling, did not draw any state matching funds Friday but has received $88,693 from the program.

On the Republican side of the race for attorney general, former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody picked up $9,287 on Friday and has received $344,600 from the program.

State Sen. Denise Grimsley, a Sebring Republican who is the only candidate for Agriculture Commissioner involved in the program, picked up $6,565 on Friday and has received $264,885 from the state.

Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who doesn’t have a primary opponent and will face Democrat Jeremy Ring in the November general election, received $1,130 in matching funds Friday. Patronis has received $297,095 from the state.

The 25 moments that defined the 2018 primary for Florida Governor

Marco Rubio brought us to this.

The long slog to Tuesday’s primary election for Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates was the usual series of false starts, histrionics, re-inventions, pandering to bases, and — new this time — dealing with the shadow of Donald J. Trump.

But if one could pick a starting point for the trail that led us here, it would have to be the Republican Rubio’s June 2016 decision to end his quest for the presidency, and re-enter the U.S. Senate race.

That was the political big bang that set into motion the forces and decisions — starting with Ron DeSantis’ exit from that same Senate race — shaping Election 2018 for the person to succeed the two-term Rick Scott, 45th governor of the Sunshine State.

Before the big show starts tomorrow at 7 a.m. Eastern time, let’s revisit the key moments that went from a small singularity to the current universe we call “Florida politics”:

June 13, 2016: Rubio decides to re-enter U.S. Senate race

After a bruising fight for the GOP nomination for president, Rubio said he wouldn’t go back to trying to get reelected to his Senate seat. But of course, his senses kicked in, and he did, announcing that decision on June 22. That essentially squeezed out DeSantis, the congressman who very well could win the GOP gubernatorial contest. Rubio went on to crush Scott ally Carlos Beruff in the GOP primary and edge out Democrat Patrick Murphy in the general election. “Gee,” we know some of you thought at the time. “Wonder what DeSantis’ political future holds now?”

Dec. 22, 2016: Will Weatherford decides not to run

In late 2014, as both men were leaving their leadership roles, Senate President Don Gaetz told the Tampa Tribune that then-House Speaker Weatherford “is the future of Florida.” He said he expected “to host a fundraiser for Will Weatherford for Governor or U.S. Senator sometime in the next five years. He will be, if he wants to be, very significant on the Florida political landscape for the next 30 years.” “If he wants to be” turned out to be prescient. Weatherford, citing his family and Weatherford Partners, the venture capital group he created with his brothers, declines to run for Governor in 2018.

Jan. 20, 2017: Donald Trump is inaugurated

The president goes on to become the biggest force in this state’s GOP primary, bar none. His kingmaking ability, which had faltered in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, works in shovelsful here, as we’ll see. 

April 13, 2017: Gwen Graham’s husband’s cancer goes into remission

Had Steve Hurm’s cancer not gone into remission, we would not now be talking about former Congresswoman Graham’s campaign for Governor. Indeed, Hurm’s fight against prostate cancer “was a factor in her decision on whether to run for governor,” WCTV later reported. “Graham … said her husband is one of her biggest supporters and did not want her to make the decision based on him.” But she did, and here we are. She entered the race May 2, becoming the first major-party woman candidate.

May 7, 2017: George Soros gets behind Andrew Gillum

Readers of conservative journal Human Events once voted billionaire financier Soros “the single most destructive leftist demagogue in the country.” Soros, who fled Nazi Germanyoccupied Hungary as a youth, also has been described by the Tampa Bay Times as a “liberal mega-donor and bogeyman to conservatives.” He gave $250,000 to Forward Florida, the Gillum-associated political committee, in April. He later went on to pump hundreds of thousands more to Gillum’s electoral benefit.

June 22, 2017: The FBI’s subpoena in a Tallahassee corruption investigation drops

Gillum, the city’s Mayor, never really recovers. “Federal authorities have demanded the city of Tallahassee produce volumes of records related to top local developers behind some of the biggest projects subsidized by the Community Redevelopment Agency,” the Tallahassee Democrat reports at the time. “Among those named in the subpoenas are Adam Corey, developer of the city-backed Edison restaurant in Cascades Park and a former campaign treasurer for Gillum.” It’s bad … but Gillum later says the FBI told him he’s not a target. Still, the association with Corey lingers, and other revelations continue, including a Costa Rica trip.

July 25, 2017: Adam Putnam’s “NRA sellout” tweet

Putnam went all-in for gun rights, saying guns should be allowed on college campuses and hinting it was time to look at once again allowing open carry in the state. After a Times columnist panned the speech with the headline, “Adam Putnam sells out to the NRA,” Putnam tweeted, “The liberal media recently called me a sellout to the NRA. I’m a proud #NRASellout!” As Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, he oversees concealed carry licensing. (That comes up later in the story.)

Oct. 10, 2017: Philip Levine sets up shop

The Miami Beach Mayor “hired a veteran fundraiser for his political committee, which he already stuffed with nearly $5 million since establishing it six months ago,” POLITICO reported. We learn that “veteran Democratic fundraiser Courtney Whitney” has joined his All About Florida political committee. Levine says he “intends to make an official decision on whether to join the crowded Democratic primary for Governor in 2018.” He, of course, gets in. 

Nov. 3, 2017: POLITICO Florida reports on Jack Latvala sexual misconduct allegations

This story was the beginning of the end for the Clearwater Republican, who had risen to Appropriations chairman after an unsuccessful run at the state Senate presidency. He later declared he would run for Governor. Then the website drops the bomb that “six women who work in Florida’s Capitol say … Latvala has inappropriately touched them without their consent or uttered demeaning remarks about their bodies.” It was “so disgusting, and I had to just stand there, over and over again when he would do this, squeezing me hard and grunting in my ear,” one woman said. Latvala eventually resigned, suspended his campaign and escaped prosecution after Tallahassee’s top prosecutor said he wouldn’t pursue him criminally

Nov. 24, 2017: Orlando businessman & lawyer John Morgan takes himself out of contention

Everyone had feared the native Kentuckian’s charisma, down-home appeal, and — perhaps most of all — his ability to self-fund. Then he tweeted, “While it’s amazing to be leading the polls for Governor without being a candidate I can’t muster the enthusiasm to run for the nomination.” Good thing, too, for the other Democrats: “His name recognition alone, built through years of TV ads throughout Florida, would have cost every other candidate tens of millions of dollars to achieve,” the Times explained. (And they’re right.)

Dec. 22, 2017: The first Trump tweet for DeSantis

“Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida. He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!” … Not quite a full endorsement, but that was simply yet to come.

Jan. 30, 2018: The 50th Graham workday, a hallmark of her campaign

Graham posts on Twitter: “On my 50th Graham Workday, I spoke with Dad (former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham) about the meaning of our family tradition and what he learned working 408 different jobs with Floridians across the state.” Graham herself spent that day “learning the ins and outs of a Florida microbrewery (at) the M.I.A. Beer Company in Doral.” This only helped burnish the Graham brand. 

Feb. 14, 2018: The Parkland shooting

A teenaged former student gunned down 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County. The politics of gun control spiked yet again as a “student-led campaign organizes two mass walkouts from schools and country-wide demonstrations, (while) Trump and Mike Pence, the vice president, appear at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Dallas,” The Economist later reports. A “Rally to Tally” later sees nearly two dozen buses bringing parents, teachers, and students to the Capitol to demand action from lawmakers on the day a gun bill would be heard.

Feb. 14, 2018: Richard Corcoran, Gillum debate on immigration

The House Speaker, a Land O’ Lakes Republican, and Gillum squared off over the “tired, (the) poor, (the) huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” The debate “was sparked by Corcoran’s anti-sanctuary cities ad and House Bill 9, which is legislation Corcoran is pushing to eliminate sanctuary cities in Florida,” WTXL explained. The event was moderated by Troy Kinsey of BayNews 9 and Gary Fineout of the Associated Press.

April 18, 2018: The first Democratic gubernatorial candidates’ debate

It was a lackluster performance all around, with some on the stage “stumbling on basic questions regarding some aspects of state government,” the USA Today Network-Florida reported. Graham scored with her “Gwen and the men” line, but she and the others flunked when asked about their morning reading habits. Not one mentioned SUNBURN, POLITICO Playbook, the Tampa Bay Times — the largest circulation newspaper in the state — or any state-centric news source. The GOP soon smelled blood.

May 9, 2018: Corcoran drops out, endorses Putnam

Corcoran, who had been expected to enter the Governor’s race, instead got behind Putnam. Term-limited in the House, he framed his decision to stay off the ballot as sticking to his word. He told news media repeatedly that he would run for Governor or otherwise “go home.” “I’m proud to say that decision is, thoroughly, we’re going home,” Corcoran said, before getting in a dig at DeSantis: “He’s got a bulldog mouth, a chihuahua a —, and he doesn’t even know what the heck is going on in this state. Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, that’s the only thing he can say. At some point, you’ve got to come out and give people a Florida vision.”

June 4, 2018: Billionaire Jeff Greene enters race

The über-rich Palm Beach real estate investor, who had previously told the Post he was “underwhelmed by the Democratic field,” files to enter the race as a “D” himself. That’s after “Greene spent about $24 million of his own money on a losing 2010 U.S. Senate bid, getting 31 percent in a Democratic primary against former U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.” The idea, insiders say, is that he won’t throw good money after bad: He’s in it to win it. 

June 7, 2018: Patrick Murphy decides against running

Murphy gets behind Graham, “ending speculation he’d run on a bipartisan ticket with former Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly,” according to TCPalm. Murphy says “he hasn’t decided whether he’d accept a position as Graham’s running mate, if she offered him a shot at Lieutenant Governor. (He) said he (was) worried over mounting such a late campaign in an already crowded primary. ‘I was always, I guess, on hesitant footing to do this, and it was always going to take quite a bit to get me over that hump to do it.’ ” Nice timing: The next day, the Florida Education Association, the statewide teachers’ union, endorses Graham.

June 8, 2018: The concealed weapons permitting scandal breaks

The Times’ Steve Contorno reports that “for more than a year, (Putnam’s gun-licensing division) failed to review national background checks on tens of thousands of applications for concealed weapons permits … The employee in charge of the background checks could not log into the system, the investigator learned.” Putnam later said applications were still run through two other databases: “When we became aware of the problem, we undertook the process of reviewing 365 names … and ultimately revoking 291 licenses.” Other stories continued to dribble out about problems at his Licensing Division over the summer, causing headaches for Putnam and staff.

June 22, 2018: Trump’s full-throated endorsement of DeSantis.

Tweet: “Congressman Ron DeSantis, a top student at Yale and Harvard Law School, is running for Governor of the Great State of Florida. Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes — Loves our Military & our Vets. He will be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsement!” … Whoomp, there it is.

June 28, 2018: The Fox News debate

As the network described it, Putnam and DeSantis “sparred … over their support for President Trump … DeSantis championed his relationship with the president, and Putnam argued he’s more focused on local issues than his opponent … Putnam said in his opening remarks, ‘It’s different than a Washington, D.C., studio. Welcome to Florida, congressman.’ DeSantis played up Trump’s endorsement … ‘I am proud to have the endorsement of President Trump in this race.’ ”

June 29, 2018: Gillum gets ‘Next Gen’ support

Gillum gets to boast of the support of a second billionaire after Soros with Tom Steyer‘s NextGen America announcing its “investment” of $1 million into his bid for governor. Mo’ money, indeed. 

July 19, 2018: Tampa Bay-area “Stand Your Ground” case becomes an issue

The shooting death of Markeis McGlockton, 28, by Michael Drejka, 47, happens in a convenience store parking lot in Clearwater after the two men get in a confrontation over McGlockton’s girlfriend parking in a handicapped spot. The county sheriff initially declines to file charges, saying Drejka is protected by the state’s “Stand Your Ground” provision of self-defense law. Democrats seize on the shooting to say the state law “incentivizes” violence. Republicans back the law and use the incident to show how 2nd Amendment rights could be threatened.

July 31, 2018: Trump campaigns for DeSantis

The Times tops itself with this lede: “Declaring himself the most popular Republican in the history of America, President Donald Trump revved up thousands of fans Tuesday night at a rowdy Tampa Bay campaign rally to help gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and, above all, celebrate Donald Trump … ‘(W)e need to elect Ron DeSantis … He’s going to be an incredible governor. I have no doubt, no doubt. I don’t do these endorsements easily.’ ”

Aug. 2, 2018: The final Democratic debate

Anyone hoping Florida’s five Democratic candidates for Governor would break new ground in the final debate left disappointed. On stage, each candidate mainly stuck to the standards, with only a couple of questions eliciting any form of surprise. The five contenders pulled more punches than in previous debates, with just a few recycled squabbles — mostly centering on Graham’s record as a moderate member of Congress. The political class hit their collective snooze button.

Aug. 23, 2018: Jeff Greene “goes dark”

Greene, after barreling into the race in early June and becoming omnipresent on TV through much of the summer, stepped out of the spotlight for the final push. The campaign essentially went dark publicly, with six days before the end of primary voting. He decides to focus on mobilizing his organization for get-out-the-vote efforts and to get paid staffers and volunteers to lead the way with more intimate messaging on his behalf, while pulling campaign ads and limiting public appearances, according to a campaign spokesman.

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Tallahassee correspondent Danny McAuliffe, Orlando correspondent Scott Powers, and Senior Editor Jim Rosica contributed to this post.

‘Your time is over’: Gwen Graham’s message to NRA’s Marion Hammer

According to the final poll of the Democratic race for Governor, Gwen Graham looks poised to be the nominee.

While a seven-point poll lead on election eve would normally be cause for celebration, Graham on Monday was considering Duval County’s desolation after a weekend bookended by high-profile mass shootings after a high-school football game Friday night and a Madden video game tournament Sunday afternoon.

For Graham, who has called throughout the campaign to turn “anguish” over mass shootings into “action” in the form of “common sense gun reform,” the events required a conversation with Jacksonville leaders looking for a way forward.

On a day when both Republican candidates, Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis, canceled Jacksonville events, Graham pushed forward, confident in the importance of her message, hammering the National Rifle Association (NRA), and predicting that the gun lobby’s time calling the shots in Tallahassee is over.

She addressed root causes of violence in the roundtable, noting that “breaking the cycle of poverty … hopelessness” is key, as well as noting the seeming randomness of the shootings at Jacksonville Landing.

“No more excuses, no more BS,” Graham said about Florida gun laws, including the sale of military-style assault weapons.

Graham’s visit to Jacksonville was scheduled before Sunday’s violence. She pilloried DeSantis and Putnam for canceling their Jacksonville appearances, saying that they “absolutely” should have come to town.

“Today is about another example of senseless gun violence in the state of Florida, and we need to address what we would be doing as Governor to provide safety and security in our communities,” Graham said.

“The fact that they were afraid to come and answer the questions says all that needs to be said,” Graham said.

“We all see what’s going on. Gun violence is all over the state, all over the country every single day,” Graham added, noting that the Landing incident is the 22nd mass shooting in Florida in 2018.

“The gun lobby is not going to have control over Tallahassee anymore,” Graham vowed.

Graham, as she is wont to say, went up against “the gun lobby” in 2014. Even after the NRA spent nearly $300,000 against her, she won her Congressional race.

“Gun violence is something we’ve had way too long. We’ve had a Legislature that has done whatever the NRA wanted. Marion Hammer,” Graham said, “standing in the middle between the citizens and the legislators, and guess who they listened to? Marion Hammer.”

“I have a word for Marion Hammer,” Graham vowed. “Your time as the one who’s controlling what we do in the state of Florida is over.”

Gwen Graham, Philip Levine, Jeff Greene, Chris King in Jacksonville following shooting

The shooting at the gamers’ tournament Sunday at Jacksonville Landing is being followed by four Democratic gubernatorial candidates — Gwen Graham, Philip Levine, Jeff Greene, and Chris King — heading to Jacksonville, in part to offer direct responses.

Graham, the former U.S. Representative from Tallahassee, and King, the businessman from Winter Park, added additional events to their schedule Monday to specifically address gun violence and the shooting that left two dead and 11 injured. Greene, the businessman from Palm Beach, released a new schedule of events late Sunday that includes a Jacksonville stop. Monday morning, Levine’s campaign announced a stop at Jacksonville University.

Graham, the front-runner in many polls for Tuesday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, announced she’ll be appearing for a “community conversation” at Uptown Kitchen, 1303 Main St., at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

She also has a previously scheduled Jacksonville event at the Mary Singleton Senior Center at 11 a.m. Monday.

Levine, the former Miami Beach Mayor who also is a front-runner in many other polls, announced a 10:45 a.m. stop at the JU Davis College of Business to meet with supporters, volunteers, and organizers.

King, running fifth and essentially out of prospects of winning but saying he is determined to continue pushing his messages, announced he’ll hold a news conference with North Florida gun violence activists and faith leaders outside Jacksonville City Hall at noon Monday.

Greene released a schedule of several newly announced public appearances around the state Monday and Tuesday, including an ice cream social at the Oceanway Community Center in Jacksonville at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

They and the other Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, as well as Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gov. Rick Scott, Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, Jacksonville-area leaders, and others all released statements Sunday.

Overkill? Ron DeSantis gets last-minute support via Donald Trump robocall

A new robocall is going out to Florida Republicans with “an important message from President Donald Trump.”

Trump weighed on the Republican primary for Governor early, and in June redoubled his support for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in his bid to topple the two-decade political career of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

In the new call, Trump again makes his case for the Ponte Vedra Republican.

The call, possibly overkill, comes after recent polls of the Republican primary showing the third-term Congressman swamping Polk County’s favorite son by more than 20 points.

DeSantis

After introducing himself, Trump says “my friend, Ron DeSantis, is running for Governor of the great state of Florida.”

“I love Florida. I fully endorse Ron in tomorrow’s election. Ron is a strong, solid conservative. He stood with me to build the wall, which is under construction right now, fight crime and cut taxes — all things that we’re getting done, and all with Ron’s help,” Trump says in the recording.

“Ron is an Iraq War veteran who, like me, loves our military and is giving our troops the support and equipment they need to defend us … ,” the president continues.

“Remember, tomorrow is Election Day. Please get to the polls tomorrow to join me in supporting my friend Ron DeSantis for Governor. He will be absolutely outstanding. Thank you,” Trump concludes.

Since DeSantis officially announced his bid for Governor in January he has climbed in the polls despite running far behind Putnam in fundraising and campaign infrastructure.

Despite jabs from Putnam that DeSantis was running his campaign out of a TV studio in New York and digs on whether he understood the issues facing the Sunshine State, DeSantis was thrust far out front with Trump’s endorsement — which even saw the president stump for DeSantis with a Tampa campaign rally.

If DeSantis proves victorious on Tuesday, he’ll move on to the November general election, where he’ll be up against one of five Democrats vying to end the stranglehold the GOP has had on the Governor’s Mansion since Jeb Bush’s election in 1998.

If polling on the Democratic side of the race proves accurate, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham will take the nomination Tuesday night, though a resurgent Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine are still in the mix.

A recording of Trump’s call is below.

Here’s Gravis Marketing’s final poll of primaries for Florida governor

In a poll following a pretty consistent pattern through the past week, Gravis Marketing is finding that Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democratic former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham appear headed for a Governor’s race showdown after Tuesday’s primaries.

DeSantis and Graham have topped several polls in the week heading into the last two days of voting, and Gravis is among them.

The Gravis Marketing poll, taken last Tuesday through Saturday, give DeSantis 39 percent, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam 27 percent, and Bob White and Bruce Nathan splitting another 10, with 23 percent still uncertain.

That poll was of 579 registered Republicans, and Gravis was citing a margin of error of 4.1 percent for Republican results.

In the same survey, Gravis also finds Graham with 26 percent of Democratic voter support; and the next three Democrats, Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum bunched, with 19, 18 and 16 percent respectively. Winter Park businessman Chris King trails the pack with 5 percent.

The only major difference in the most recent polls has been the order of Greene, Levine, and Gillum, and their relative strengths compared with each other.

The Gravis poll included 531 registered Democrats, with Gravis claiming a margin of error of 4.3 percent on Democrat results.

Gravis found a couple of other primary races bunched within the margins of error.

Former Circuit Judge Ashley Moody has an insignificant lead over state Rep. Frank White for the Republican Attorney General primary nomination. Moody drew 35 percent and White 32 percent, with 33 percent of those surveyed saying they were uncertain.

Former state Rep. Baxter Troutman, state Rep. Matt Caldwell, and state Sen. Denise Grimsley are even tighter in the Republican Florida Agriculture Commissioner primary. Troutman drew 19 percent, Caldwell 18, and Grimsley 17. Mike McAlister is not far behind with 13 percent.

Florida politicians react to the passing of John McCain

The family of U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona’s senior senator and the 2008 Republican nominee for president, announced his death after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Florida’s political leaders remembered the longtime Senate leader.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, elected in 2010, issued a statement mourning McCain.

“John McCain’s sacrifices to his country are immeasurable. With his passing today, America has lost more than a leader and more than a senator. We have lost a true American hero. As a colleague in the Senate and a friend, I drew personal inspiration from his leadership, intellect and moral courage. He set the standard for what we should expect from our soldiers and from our public servants of all levels. In this time of grief, I hope John’s family finds comfort in knowing that this extraordinary man touched countless lives, and his memory will continue to set the standard of leadership and moral resolve for future generations.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat elected to the Senate in 2000, called McCain a friend a hero.

“John McCain was my friend and one of my heroes. He devoted his life to duty, honor and country. He shall always be a role model for me.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is running against Nelson this year, noted McCain’s military service.

“John McCain was a true American hero. As a Navy man myself, I’ve always had immense respect for Senator McCain. A lot of folks talk tough, but he was the real deal. From one Navy family to another, we extend our sincerest gratitude for his strength and perseverance. John will always be a beacon of hope and perseverance for America. He was a true fighter and fought every day for this country. We will miss him dearly but take comfort in knowing his legacy will live on forever.”

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother George W. defeated McCain in the Republican presidential primary in 2000, praised McCain’s lifetime of service.

“John McCain’s courageous and selfless lifetime of service is a profile in American exceptionalism. Prayers this evening for the Senator, Cindy and the entire McCain family.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sent prayers to McCain’s family.

“US Senator John McCain was a war hero, a public servant and a great American. Our country is better for his service. My heart breaks, and my prayers are with Cindy, Meghan and the entire McCain family.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican candidate for governor, celebrated all stages of McCain’s service. “America lost one of her bravest defenders today. In a cockpit, an enemy prison, or the Senate chamber, John McCain fought for our nation’s values and freedoms, and sacrificed much in the journey. May God welcome him home and give comfort to his family.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis remembered his interaction with McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“Katie, Theo and I had the honor to meet Senator McCain during his 2008 campaign for President. My family appreciates his sacrifices for our country and pray for strength for the McCain Family.”

Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, a Democratic candidate for governor, spoke of the relationship between McCain and her father, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. “Dad and @SenJohnMcCain formed a friendship serving together because John McCain was one of the rare statesman who could place public service before partisanship. He was a warrior and maverick all the way to the end. May he rest in peace.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic candidate for governor, praised McCain’s character. “We’ve lost a truly courageous leader tonight. John McCain’s integrity and love for our country was boundless. He led with a passion and purpose that we all aspire to. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends this difficult evening.”

Chris King, another Democratic candidate, posted a classic photo of McCain being honored for his service by President Richard Nixon.

Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, a Democratic candidate for governor, also remembered McCain. “His patriotism is beyond measure, his heroism beyond question, and his character is a role model for a life beautifully lived.”

Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw, a Democrat, also posted a picture of McCain with another president, former opponent Barack Obama.

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Baxter Troutman, a Republican, was among those mentioning McCain’s maverick reputation.

Chief Financial Officer candidate Jeremy Ring, a Democrat, called McCain a true patriot.

“So sad to hear of the passing of a true American Patriot and Hero . My prayers are with his family at this time as well as all the people he has touched throughout his eighty-one years. Senator McCain, THANK YOU for your service to the American people.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who as Florida’s Republican governor campaigned for McCain for president, remembered the senator.

“Tonight our country lost a true American hero. Honored to have called Senator McCain a friend. May God bless his loved ones during this time of loss.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat, echoed the thoughts. “America loses a true patriot in Senator John McCain. Honor him with independent thinking, love of country.”

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican, added his tribute to McCain. “John McCain was a true American patriot who sacrificed much for his country. He was a man of tremendous courage and will be missed.”

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Republican, released the following statement: “I am saddened at the passing of a true American hero, Senator John McCain. Senator McCain was a devoted family man, a passionate leader, and a dedicated public servant. He always put his country first, and as such he leaves behind an impressive legacy of service and sacrifice. The Bilirakis family was fortunate to call him a friend for many years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May his memory be eternal!”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat, also put out a statement: “”I was so incredibly saddened to hear the news of Senator John McCain’s passing. He was a classic Patriot and served our nation with honor and distinction. May his family find the peace that they need in this difficult time, and know that his legacy will forever endure. Throughout Senator McCain’s years of distinguished service, we all saw firsthand his integrity, humility, courage and grace. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family. Senator McCain inspired a nation and will be dearly missed.”

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, shared a picture of herself with McCain and a message for his family. “An American hero passed away but his legacy will endure. A fighter through and through, was a patriot and a true American hero. Dexter and I were proud to know him.”

U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican, said he felt honored to have served in Washington with McCain. “ was a true hero. Honored to have known him and served in Washington with him. Thinking of the McCain family and all who loved him tonight. Rest in peace Maverick.”

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford was among those celebrating McCain’s military contributions. “I am saddened by the passing of Senator John McCain and thank him for his service to our nation both in the Navy and in Congress. For decades, his dedication to his country, his family, and his principles have served as an example to us all.”

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat, said he was incredibly saddened to hear of McCain’s death. “He embodied true patriotism and was a man of unflinching integrity, who went above and beyond the call of duty in service to our country. This is a profound loss for our nation.”

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat, recalled a diplomatic trip the two lawmakers took together to Vietnam. “Patriot. Hero. Public Servant. Maverick. Senator McCain will be missed by this nation. As a Vietnamese refugee, I will treasure the memory of visiting Vietnam with talking about our deep and mutual love for America. Rest In Peace, Senator. Your legacy lives on.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Democrat, simply thanked McCain for his candor. “Thank you for your service to our country, for your courage and for your candor!”

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican, said McCain exemplified the best of the United States. “Sen. John McCain dedicated his entire life to serving our nation. As a Navy Veteran, a war hero, and later through his service in Congress, he exemplified the best this country has to offer as a statesman. My prayers are with the McCain family during this difficult time.

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican, issued a lengthy statement celebrating McCain’s life from the military to his Senate service. “Generations to come will benefit from his selfless dedication to duty and country.”

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat, simply passed along her regrets at the news.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron celebrated McCain’s military record. “We are keeping the McCain family in our prayers as they grieve this incredible loss. Senator McCain was an American hero who served the cause of freedom throughout his entire life. He endured suffering most of us cannot imagine. We are so grateful for his service and sacrifice.”

State Rep. Jason Fischer also made note of McCain’s naval record. “Fair winds and following seas, shipmate. We have the watch.”

State Rep. Shevrin Jones demonstrated the bipartisan affection for the senator, saying McCain “was an example of what courage, strength, and civility in the process looked like. Today, let us honor him for showing the world that it can be done. To a true American legend and hero, Rest In Peace.”

Miami Beach City Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, a Democratic candidate for Congress in South Florida, released the following statement: “It is a sad day today for all Americans. I may not have always agreed with Sen. John McCain, but I always respected him. He was a true American hero who fought for what he believed in — both in war and in Washington — and was a true representative of his people, not special interests. He was a warrior, a statesman, a model for us all. His death Saturday can be mourned by both Republicans and Democrats because Sen. McCain wasn’t afraid to cross the aisle, or challenge his own party and its leaders, when he felt he had to. Twice, he refused to support GOP legislation to end the Affordable Healthcare Act. His example and his leadership will be missed.”

Jesse Phillips, Seminole County Republican state committeeman, mentioned McCain sometimes upset his base but always inspired respect. “Love him or hate him, the maverick embodied so much of what makes America great.”

Christian Whitfield, Jacksonville City Council candidate, honored McCain’s service record. “Elizabeth and I would like to send our condolences to the family and to our fellow and shipmate sleep in peace sir, we have the watch.”

Hawthorne Mayor Matt Surrency recalled a famous moment when McCain dismissed false theories about Obama even in the midst of the presidential race.

This story will be updated as more leaders release statements.

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