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Philip Levine spotlights opposition to NRA, Donald Trump in latest TV spot

In an ad released Friday, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine spotlighed his willingness to take on President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association.

The script juxtaposes Trump’s fealty to the gun lobby with Levine’s willingness to stand as opposition. The ad comes a day after the final Democratic gubernatorial debate, which saw Levine and opponent Jeff Greene exchange a brief flurry of jabs regarding the latter’s encounters with Trump.

“Despite the shooting deaths of 17 people in Parkland, despite the pleas of parents, Donald Trump promised the NRA he’s with them all the way. Philip Levine felt that we had to stop the violence now, demanding Florida pass the toughest gun safety laws in the nation. As Governor and as a parent, Philip Levine will take on the NRA, or anyone who stands in our way,” the ad says.

“As Donald Trump hand-picks Rick Scott’s successor for Governor, the state of Florida needs a leader with a proven record of fighting back and standing up when it counts. We cannot let Trump and the NRA rule our state—we can’t stand by while our state’s gun laws remain some of the loosest in the nation,” emphasizes Levine’s senior adviser, Christian Ulvert.

“As a proud Moms Demand Action Gun-Sense Candidate, who received an F-grade from the NRA, and the only candidate for Governor who fought to ban assault rifles while in office, Philip Levine is the fighter we need to pass the toughest gun reform in the nation. He’s the candidate who does more than talk, he has a record of action that speaks for itself,” Ulvert added.

Left unsaid: how Levine would get that gun reform through a predominately Republican Legislature.

Levine has often touted his record passing reforms that play well with Democratic voters as Miami Beach Mayor, from minimum wage hikes to efforts to combat the effects of climate change. Many of those accomplishments were only paper victories, however, thanks to state laws preempting local government ordinances.

Since he officially entered the race in November, Levine has poured nearly $15 million from his personal fortune into his campaign and political committee, All About Florida. Those cash infusions have kept him on the airwaves throughout most of the campaign cycle and even led to him becoming the front runner in most polls of the primary race until a couple of months back.

The most recent St. Pete Polls survey shows Gwen Graham ahead, with 29 percent support. Greene, a Palm Beach billionaire who is also self-funding his campaign, was in second with 23 percent, followed by Levine at 19 percent and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando-area businessman Chris King bringing up the rear.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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