Gwen Graham Archives - Page 6 of 51 - Florida Politics

Republicans, agencies welcome Rick Scott’s budget

Gov. Rick Scott’s new $87.4 billion proposed budget has been welcomed by some major Republicans and state agencies.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who pushed legislation combating the Governor’s job incentives and tourism priorities last year, said he welcomes working with Scott to do what “is right for Florida taxpayers.”

“We are confident that together with the Governor and Senate we can produce a budget that cuts taxes, imposes accountability and transparency and ensures the future fiscal health of the state,” Corcoran said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) sang praise for the Governor’s proposed budget, which includes a $10 million investment for an additional 130 child protective investigators and Florida Abuse Hotline counselors, $2.2 million to expand care for victims of human trafficking and $15 million to enhance substance abuse service capacity statewide, along with other items helpful to DCF’s core mission of protecting the vulnerable.

“Governor Scott’s proposed budget shows his commitment to Florida’s most vulnerable citizens and the importance of providing resources to allow DCF to ensure the health and safety of Florida’s families,” said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll in a statement.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam thanked Scott for his proposed raises to wildland firefighters and law enforcement officers. The proposed budget specifies $2.4 million for a 10 percent raise to all Florida Forest Service Firefighters.

“These proposed raises will help us recruit and retain the best law enforcement officers and wildland firefighters to keep Floridians and visitors safe,” Putnam said.

The Florida Department of State (DOS) — with nearly half a million dollars and five staff positions proposed on the budget to create a cyber-security section for mission critical systems and $14.3 million in grant funding for cultural, historical and library grant programs — also lauded Scott.

“Governor Scott’s commitment to investments in library grants, cultural programs, and historic preservation support cultural heritage tourism and economic development, ensuring Florida continues to be one of the world’s best places to live and visit for generations to come,” Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said.

The Florida Department of Education applauded Scott, too. K-12 public schools received a proposed budget of $21.4 billion in state and local funding, an increase of $769.6 million; Florida colleges received $1.24 billion in state operating funds, an increase of $31.9 million; College students got a proposed continuation of  Bright Futures’ funding for 100 percent of Florida Academic Scholars’ fees and tuition.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said the proposed budget demonstrates Scott’s dedication to Florida students.

“This continued investment in our state’s public education system will help to maintain the momentum to the benefit of current and future generations,” Stewart said.

But, despite the praise from his party colleagues and agencies, the term-limited Republican Governor hasn’t won the hearts of Florida Democrats.

The Florida Democratic party denounced the budget as “self-serving politics”

“At every turn, Scott is proving he’s only ever looking out for himself,” the Democratic Party of Florida said in a statement. “And he can’t run away from seven years of budgets that have left hardworking Floridians worse off than when he took office.”

Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum called the budget an attempt to “cover up seven years of failed policies.”

“Budgets reflect our values, and for seven years we’ve seen just what the Governor’s values are: cuts on top of cuts to programs that are critical for working families,” Gillum said.

Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, who also is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, pointed to the budget as last-ditch effort to make up for prior education cuts.

“In his first year as governor, Scott cut more than $1 billion from Florida’s schools and we still haven’t recovered from those massive cut,” Graham said. “Adjusted for inflation, per-student funding would still be less under Rick Scott’s new budget than it was when he took office.”

Gwen Graham goes nuclear over recovery fees, fracking fees

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham wants to put a stop to Florida utility ratepayers paying for nuclear power  plants that were never built or which never worked, or for paying for fracking exploration in Florida.

The former congresswoman from Tallahassee went nuclear Tuesday denouncing the 2006 law that allowed Florida investor-owned utility companies to charge advance fees for nuclear power plants that were never built, something that the Florida Public Service Commission has allowed, to the tune of more than $3 million in fees, she said. She charged that the commission is out of control.

Her statement Tuesday in some ways echoes that made last month by her rival for the Democratic primary nomination, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who welcomed her on board the position Tuesday, yet also said “it feels like an election year conversion” for Graham.

Graham faces Democrats Gillum and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and Winter Park businessman Chris King in seeking the 2018 Democratic primary nomination to run for governor.

On Oct. 17, Gillum declared in a statement, “Instead of forcing everyday Floridians to continue ponying up money for Florida Power & Light, the PSC should instead force FPL to pay for their Turkey Point nuclear energy license. Working people in this state face enough financial hardships as it is — they should not have to fork over more money to an enormous corporation who controls most of the state’s major energy decisions. Corporations have run roughshod over this state for too long, and when I’m Governor it will finally end.”

On Tuesday, Graham also called for an end.

“Floridians should not be forced to pay for nuclear power plants that are never built or for fracking exploration,” Graham stated in a news release. “For 20 years, the Republican politicians in Tallahassee have turned a blind eye to the Public Service Commission and utility companies as they’ve taxed seniors, small business owners and families. That ends when I’m elected governor.”

She also criticized both Gov. Jeb Bush and current Gov. Rick Scott for what she said was stacking the commission with what she called “unqualified, industry-friendly commissioners.” She then went after Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the leading Republican gubernatorial candidate, for having voted for an unbuilt nuclear power plant while he was in Congress, and then go after likely Republican gubernatorial candidate House Speaker Richard Corcoran for appointing to the PSC nominating commission.

In 2015, the commission accepted a utilities’ request to allow the charges to Floridians as much as $500 million a year for natural gas fracking projects. The Florida Supreme Court ruled the commission exceeded its authority by approving it.

Now proposed legislation that would grant the commission new authority to charge what Graham called “the fracking tax.”

She pledged that as governor she would fight that and push for a statutory ban on any fracking tax.

“Rick Scott has appointed unqualified, industry-friendly commissioners. Adam Putnam voted to approve the construction of a $24-billion nuclear expansion that is unlikely to ever be built. As Speaker of the House, Richard Corcoran makes half of the appointments to the PSC Nominating Council — which has refused to consider consumer advocates for the PSC,” Graham said. “Their records make it clear that Corcoran and Putnam would continue to allow the Public Service Commission and utilities to charge Floridians with outrageous and unfair taxes.”

Corcoran’s office responded by saying he has six appointments to that commission, and they included Democratic House Leader Janet Cruz and consumer Ann Marie Ryan.

The watchdog group Integrity Florida recently labeled the PSC a “Captured Regulatory Agency,” asserting it has been captured under the influence of the very utilities it is responsible for regulating.

“The Public Service Commission is out of control. As governor, I will appoint consumer advocates who will vote in Floridians best interests — not the special interests,” Graham said. “I will fight to repeal the advanced nuclear recovery taxes and to ban utilities from ever charging customers a speculative fracking tax.”

Compilation of Veterans Day messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians

A compilation of Veterans Day messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians —

Governor Rick Scott

As a Navy veteran myself, I am proud to honor our veterans by offering free entry to the best state park system in the nation. Our award-winning state parks offer countless of opportunities for families and friends to enjoy Florida’s natural treasures. This Veterans Day, I encourage all Florida residents and visitors to visit a state park and to recognize our military heroes for their selfless sacrifices.

In celebration of Veterans Day, several parks are hosting special events this weekend:

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is hosting Honoring Veterans: Past, Present and Future on Nov. 11, 2017.

Highlands Hammock State Park is hosting the 32nd Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Festival on Nov. 11, 2017.

Fort Clinch State Park is hosting History of the American Soldier on Nov. 11, 2017.

The Barnacle Historic State Park is hosting The Barnacle Under Moonlight Concert on Nov. 11, 2017.

Gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum:

Veterans Day is a day to recognize and honor our nation’s veterans. There are over 1.5 million veterans living here in Florida and the sacrifices they’ve made in order to protect us and our families deserve more thanks than we’ll ever be able to give them. It is on all of us to ensure that the brave men and women who serve in our military come home to a grateful nation and have the support and resources they need.

In 2012, Tallahassee became the first Capital Purple Heart City in the nation. From offering veterans free transportation to and from the VA Clinic, to honoring our Purple Heart recipients every year, I’ve been proud to continue and build on our City’s commitment to our veterans.

And, as Governor, I will continue to do that by ensuring physical and mental health care and job-training opportunities are available for all of our veterans. So, while today is set aside as a special day to honor and recognize all of the sacrifices that veterans made for us, we must continue to fight to make every day like Veterans Day.

Gubernatorial candidate and former Congresswoman Gwen Graham:

Gubernatorial candidate and Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine:

Gubernatorial candidate and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam:

State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto:

On this Veterans Day, I urge my fellow Floridians to take a moment to express gratitude to the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces. Whether veterans of wartime or of peacetime, those drafted or who volunteered, those who have fallen or those with us today, these American heroes have selflessly put the welfare of our nation above their own.

The Legislature has continued to work hard to make sure veterans in Florida receive the respect, services, and gratitude they so richly deserve. We are committed to continuing Florida’s tradition as the ‘Welcome Home’ state for veterans and their families.

Please join me in thanking our service men and women, as well as their families, for the sacrifices they have made in responding to the call of duty, protecting us from threats to our freedom, and defending our liberty.

State Sen. René Garcia:

State Sen. Debbie Mayfield:

State Sen. Keith Perry:

State Rep. Cord Byrd:

State Rep. Bob Cortes:

State Rep. Nicholas Duran:

State Rep. Jason Fischer:

State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr.:

State Rep. Dane Eagle:

On Saturday we celebrate the legacy of men and women who have sacrificed so much in service to America. They are the veterans of America’s armed forces. They have granted us our liberty and continue to do so. These great men and women – our sons, our daughters, our mothers and fathers – have fought for our country with a fearless mindset, going into enemy territories without knowledge of when or if they would ever return. These heroes surrendered their freedoms so that we may keep our own.  As the United People of this great country, we must thank those who have served. We must recognize the colossal sacrifice they have made.

Many of our Veterans have suffered physical and mental trials, some even losing their lives in the line of duty, but their sacrifice is not futile, for we, the American people, remember.

We remember the First Army, the soldiers who waged war against the British troops and granted us our independence. We remember the Great American Civil War and our triumph during World War II. We remember the fight against the communist powers during the Korean War and again in the Vietnam War. We remember those who were sent overseas to serve in Afghanistan, leaving their friends, families, and loved ones behind.

Most importantly, we remember those who have perished. We remember the millions and millions of soldiers who have lost their lives in the making of our great country. We remember their courageous acts, the very acts that have made the United States of America the commanding and powerful country it is today. We must never forget what they have done.

Not only do we honor those in our history, but we honor those who continue to serve. Our Veterans uphold characteristics that the people of the United States value. Characteristics such as valor, integrity, humility, strength, and fortitude are qualities that live in the mentality of each and every Veteran, but while our Veterans share the same abilities, they are not one in the same. They come from various backgrounds, upbringings, and circumstances. They are of different religions, race, and economic standing. They mirror the diversity that is the United States of America; they are us.

Veterans Day gives us the opportunity to do something we should do each and every day: give thanks. We should give thanks to the men and women who wear a service uniform. We should give thanks to their families and offer them our thoughts and prayers. Through our words and actions, we should tell the families of injured and fallen veterans their loved ones have the gratitude of our nation, our state, and our communities. For theirs is a noble and lasting legacy that serves as the cornerstone of our American character.

State Rep. Joe Geller

I want to take a moment to honor all  of our veterans who have served our great country. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the veterans that have made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live in the great nation that we do, and to all those who served.

State Rep. Bill Hager:

State Rep. Shawn Harrison:

State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia:

State Rep. Shevrin Jones:

State Rep. Wengay Newton:

State House candidate Ardian Zika:

Gwen Graham tops $4M raised

Though the committee of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is winning the money race, Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Gwen Graham is not cash poor.

Per a press release from her campaign Thursday, Graham has raised $4 million total.

“From Pensacola to Key West, Floridians are fed up with Trump-style politics and they are engaged like never before. Floridians are fed up with Tallahassee’s education industry. Floridians are fed up with the attacks on our clean land and water. And they are fed up with politicians who divide our communities,” Graham said.

“Our campaign is building a coalition of Floridians from every part of this state and every community. That’s how we won in 2014 and that’s how we’re going to turn Florida blue in 2018,” Graham said.

Graham brought in $180,000 for her campaign and another $165,000 for the “Our Florida” political committee.

Both Graham and Levine are winning the money race against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum going away

October saw Gillum bring in $80,000 in hard money, while his political committee, “Forward Florida,” has a mere $30,000 on hand after another month of spending more than it raised.

Adam Putnam sees wake-up call in Virginia elections

Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam sees a wake-up call in the Democrats’ victories in Tuesday night’s elections in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere and declared Wednesday that it’s a call for a campaign to convince grassroots voters that the state’s conservative-principaled prosperity is at stake.

“We are at a crossroads. Make no mistake. Look what happened in Virginia and New Jersey. There should be a sense of urgency about this election. Not complacency,” Putnam told an Up and Adam gathering at a Winter Park restaurant Wednesday morning. “The inertia is for Florida to be more like New York than like Texas. The inertia is for the left to hijack our elections in Florida.”

Putnam, Florida’s agriculture commissioner, is honing his message to be that of continuing and building upon the conservative leadership he says Gov. Rick Scott has used to make the state’s economy the envy of the nation. At The Coop, a southern-cooking themed restaurant from John Rivers, Putnam continued his call for aggressive support for technical education, saying community colleges and trade schools have gotten “a stick in the eye” from the Florida Legislature in recent years. And he continued his assaults on liberals he says are out to turn Florida into a liberal bastion yet economic basket case like Illinois.

Yet, drawing on lessons he sees in Tuesday’s off-year elections as potential signaling a Democratic resurrection, Putnam also stressed the need to remind voters of the Republican’s accomplishments in Florida, and to get them out to vote to continue the program.

With the hobbling of state Sen. Jack Latvala from an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct, Putnam, of Bartow, now stands as the only serious Republican officially seeking the governor’s office in 2018, though he has to keep an eye out for potential candidacies of Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis. The Democrats, meanwhile, have four major candidates in the race, former state Rep. Gwen Graham, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Winter Park businessman Chris King, whose office is within easy walking distance of The Coop.

“There’s certainly a wake-up call here,” Putnam said after his 20-minute speech. “People are fed up with an absence of results in Washington. People were sent to fix our health care system, reform our tax code, and there’s just, there’s no results. It’s a warning against being complacent on turnout.

“But every election, every campaign is local. And you look at the strength of Florida’s economy, the growth in the number of jobs we have here, I think Floridians are looking for a governor who is going to build on our economic progress and give young people the the skills to stay in Florida and succeed,” he added.

He urged the gathering of about 50 people at The Coop to get engaged in his campaign and stay engaged, and to work to convince the conservative grassroots to vote, lest Florida see Virginia’s experience.

“And if we don’t get engaged, then you will have a sanctuary state. You will have an erosion of gun laws. And you will have the types of high taxes and bloated bureaucracy that is driving people from Chicago and New York in droves to our states,” Putnam said. “So don’t let Florida become more like New York and Illinois. We’ve got to fight in this election for the future of our grandkids. We’ve got to fight for a stronger, better Florida, in our infrastructure, in workforce development, and in a pro-business environment that we know Florida can be. That is our challenge in 2018. And that is my vision as your next governor.”

Joe Henderson: Democrats win, but can they keep good times rolling?

Democrats win! Stop the presses!

Well, they should be feeling frisky this morning. They had a fist-pumping night during Tuesday’s elections, just a year after Donald Trump stunned them, and their dreams of controlling the United States Senate were crushed.

Democrats won a series of state and local elections, including nationally watched races for Governor in Virginia and New Jersey.

And in St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Kriseman held on to his seat by defeating former mayor Rick Baker, a result that not many were predicting a few months ago.

The tide seemed to turn when Kriseman’s team unloaded a series of attacks that linked Baker to Trump, along with some images that made the former mayor look more than a little angry.

That, plus some well-planned ground work, was enough to give Kriseman four more years.

Add that to the win in a September special election by Democrat Annette Taddeo over former state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in GOP-held Senate District 40, and the Dems are showing a pulse as the countdown to the 2018 midterm elections officially begins.

Pundits are interpreting Tuesday’s results as a repudiation of President Trump, and obviously that is true to some degree. Let’s not get carried away, though. This is still a divided country and state.

Kriseman won, but with 51.5 percent of the vote you can’t label that a sweeping mandate. What you can say is that for now, the Democratic strategy of tying GOP candidates in even local elections to Trump is working.

We can expect more of the same in the election for Florida’s Governor in 2018. Anyone who tells you they know how that race will end is dreaming.

It seems likely that the Republican nomination is Adam Putnam’s to lose, although House Speaker Richard Corcoran could complicate that if he gets into the race. But I wouldn’t bet so much as a nickel on how the Democratic scrap will play out. That’s not a bad thing, by the way.

Unlike in 2014, where Charlie Crist proved to be an uninteresting and uninspired Democratic nominee, the party should have several good options.

Gwen Graham is going from one end of the state to the other and has the early lead in polling, but I wouldn’t put a whole lot into that just yet – not when the latest poll says 46 percent of Democrats are undecided.

We haven’t had a chance to measure the impact of the entry into the race by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and no one has a real clue yet what Orlando attorney John Morgan might do.

We also don’t know if Trump’s popularity in Florida will continue to decline, and what impact that could have. If those numbers keep sliding, they could stick to every Republican candidate and tip the balance of power in the state and nation.

Tell you what: I’m going to watch the Dec. 12 special election in Alabama for the U.S. Senate, a heavily Republican state.

Normally that wouldn’t merit more than a line or two in a national roundup, but in Roy Moore the GOP has put up a candidate that many see as an outright loon. He wants to have homosexuality outlawed. He says Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress. He still doesn’t believe Barack Obama was born in America.

He was kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court.


Even his candidacy was a rebuke to Trump, who pushed for Moore’s opponent in the Republican primary.

Democrat Doug Jones is a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members for bombing a black church. He has campaigned as a bridge builder.

Polls show a deadlocked race.

Win that one, Democrats, and everyone will pay attention.

Democrats across Florida congratulate Rick Kriseman on his re-election

Florida Democrats are more fired up than ever.

A little more than a month ago, Florida Democrats scored a historic victory in the special election for Senate District 40. In a low turnout election, Democrat Annette Taddeo flipped a competitive state Senate seat from red to blue, defeating the well-funded Republican, Jose Felix Diaz.

Re-electing Mayor Rick Kriseman was a significant victory for Florida Democrats. The Democratic mayor faced a tough challenge from a popular, former two-term Republican mayor—Rick Baker.

Throughout the campaign, Florida Democrats from across the state made thousands of calls and knocked on thousands of doors in St. Pete, encouraging progressives to get out and vote.

The Florida Democratic Party made a significant investment in Kriseman’s re-election campaign, putting considerable resources towards on-the-ground organizers and tools to mobilize voters and boost turnout.

“Democrats just keep winning—grassroots enthusiasm is surging across the state, and Florida Democrats are ready to compete in all 67 counties,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel. “When Democrats run on their values, they win. The Florida Democratic Party is ready to flip Florida blue in 2018, and we are committed to winning seats at every level of government—from school board to the United States Senate.”

Here is a compilation of other Democrats reaction to Kriseman’s victory:

Former governor Charlie Crist, via Twitter:

“The people are the boss and they’ve told us they want a vibrant, inclusive, and progressive Sunshine City. Congratulations, Mayor @Kriseman!!!

Gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum:

“Congrats @Kriseman & St. Pete! The politics of division will not fool us again. Florida Democrats have so much to be excited about in 2018.”

Gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham:

“The people have voted to keep moving St. Pete forward! Mayor Rick Kriseman’s work to tackle big problems with big solutions earned him re-election tonight. I look forward to working with him as a partner in restoring our promise to public schools, defending our clean land and water, and building an economy that works for every Floridian.”

Gubernatorial candidate Phil Levine:

“Congrats to my friend and fellow Mayor on his hard-fought victory tonight. With the election behind him now, Mayor Kriseman can continue his important work on climate change and making sure St. Petersburg’s vision for being a resilient city comes to fruition.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, via Twitter:

Mayor Rick @Kriseman re-elected tonight by #StPetersburg🌞, a community that values everyone & knows their leader does too!

More Jacksonville Democrats endorse Gwen Graham for Governor

Two elected Jacksonville Democrats — state Rep. Tracie Davis and School Board member Warren Jones — endorsed Gwen Graham for Governor Monday.

Graham had already been endorsed by former Jacksonville Mayors Jake Godbold and City Councilmen Tommy Hazouri and Garrett Dennis, and thus far is the only candidate for Governor on the Democratic side to score meaningful Jacksonville endorsements.

“I’m proud to have Representative Tracie Davis and School Board Member Warren Jones by my side fighting to restore public education in Florida,” Graham said. “With their help, we are making outreach in Jacksonville and Duval County a top priority in my campaign.”

“My life full of experiences and time working in our public schools influences me every day as a legislator and elected official. It helps me represent the people of Jacksonville. And it is those same type of real-world life experiences and her record of working in public schools that have led me to endorse Gwen Graham for governor,”  Davis said.

“I have seen firsthand how Republicans have handed our children’s future over to an education industry that cares more about making money than raising Florida’s next generation. Gwen Graham has made restoring public schools the top priority of her campaign, and I’m proud to support her in that fight,” Davis added.

“Year after year, Rick Scott and Republicans in the legislature pass new laws to strip control of our schools away from communities and put the power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats in Tallahassee,” Duval School Board Member and former Jacksonville City Council President Warren Jones said.

“I’m proud to support Gwen Graham for governor. Gwen is a mother, former PTA president and public school official, who understands the challenges parents, teachers and students face. When it comes to the issue of education, she is the best candidate for governor,” Jones added.

Graham is right now a strong frontrunner for the nomination, and these endorsements continue her momentum.

Gubernatorial candidates react to Jack Latvala’s alleged sex harassment

A recent POLITICO report detailing Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala‘s sexual harassment of six different women in the Capitol has garnered criticism from his opponents in the 2018 Governor’s race.

All major gubernatorial candidates have weighed in. There are four major Democrats and two dominant Republicans, including Latvala, on the gubernatorial ticket.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum‘s Communications Director Geoff Burgan said: “The allegations against Senator Latvala are incredibly disturbing and must be investigated immediately.”

He added that, “at the minimum,” Latvala should be stripped of his seat on the Appropriations Committee and “if the allegations are proven true, he must resign without delay.

“It’s clear … the Legislature has a serious culture problem where men feel emboldened to harass, intimidate and demean women. It must end, and it must end now,” Burgan added.

Miami Beach Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine said: “I have zero tolerance for harassment in politics or the workplace.

In a similar fashion to the Gillum campaign’s statement, he added: “It’s clearly time to clean up Tallahassee.”

Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham said Latvala’s conduct is “despicable” and commended the victims’ bravery in telling their stories.

Graham, too, criticized Tallahassee on a much larger scale.

“This is also a symptom of a state capital that’s drunk on power, playing by its own rules, and totally devoid of accountability — period.”

Chris King, a Winter Park developer of affordable and senior housing, concurred, declaring, “I am disgusted by the accounts of Senator Latvala’s alleged abuse of power. And I am in awe of the courage of the women who have come forward to tell their stories.

“It’s time to match their courage, look at ourselves and the culture we’ve created in Tallahassee, and change it. We must hold our elected officials accountable to a high standard of integrity and excellence again,” King added.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a major Republican primary opponent in the governor’s race, sympathized with the alleged victims and called for an investigation into the Legislature so that victims “may be heard without fear of reprisal.”

“No one should have to endure what we’ve heard reports of in the media,” Putnam said. “Sexual harassment has no place in the Capitol, or anywhere else.”

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