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Philip Levine returns to Parkland, with Parkland parents, in new ads

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine is going up with a new round of TV commercials Monday, calling for a response to the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland, this time with parents of two of the slain children doing the talking for him.

In the two 30-second commercials, “Joaquin Oliver” and “Jaime Guttenberg,” Levine returns to themes he pushed in the weeks immediately after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which killed Oliver, Guttenberg, 12 other students, and three school faculty members.

The new TV spots follow a commercial released two weeks ago by Levine’s Democratic primary rival Jeff Greene, which focused on Parkland, featuring a Stoneman Douglas High School student survivor and her father.

In February, barely a week after the shooting, Levine was the first candidate to address the tragedy in a TV commercial, “We Will,” declaring his commitment to do something about it as Governor.

One of Levine’s new commercials features Joaquin’s parents Manuel and Patricia Oliver,  while the other features Jaime’s father Fred Gutenberg.

“We’re demanding gun reform now — that’s why we’re voting for Philip Levine. And we ask every parent to do the same,” Patricia Oliver says.

In the other commercial, Guttenberg says, “I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to taking on anyone who won’t do anything about it — the President, the NRA, and the do-nothing politicians. That’s why we need Philip Levine — like me, he not only demanded stronger gun laws, but he marched on Tallahassee to make it happen.

And Guttenberg finishes with a line that he shares with Manuel Oliver from the other commercial, “Levine’s a doer, not a talker.”

“The courage and drive that these parents have shown is inspirational—this is how movements start and how change is made,” Levine stated in a news release about the new commercials, issued Monday morning by his campaign. “I’m honored to have earned Fred, Manuel, and Patricia’s support and am committed to standing beside them as we work together to make gun reform a reality in Florida. As Governor, we won’t just talk about action, we will get this done!”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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