One of Florida’s top mayors officially cast his primary vote Saturday for former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham in the Democratic primary for Florida governor.
Buddy Dyer, Orlando’s mayor since 2003, appeared with Graham today at a rally in Orlando outside the Orange County Supervisor of Elections’ Kaley Street office. He then voted early himself.
“Together, we are going to restore Florida’s public schools, protect our environment and finally pass commonsense gun safety,” Graham said in a statement.
Graham’s campaign announced Dyer’s endorsement yesterday, when Dyer said Graham put particular effort into understanding the needs of the City Beautiful.
“Gwen Graham has spent her life bringing people together to solve problems,” Dyer said. “She has spent a tremendous amount of time here in Orlando over the last year, and she understands how the state of Florida can be a true partner to help Orlando grow into the future.”
Graham called Orlando a model city in the Sunshine State.
“Orlando is a real example of what Florida can be, a place with a growing economy, shared prosperity, and a community open to a diversity of ideas,” Graham said.
“Mayor Dyer has accomplished these goals by bringing together people from different perspectives, forcing compromise to solve problems, while at the same time never backing down from his progressive values. I am honored by his support and eager to work with him to move Florida forward.”
Feeling the momentum with @OrlandoMayor Buddy Dyer as he votes early for our campaign today!
TOGETHER, we are going to restore Florida’s public schools, protect our environment and finally pass commonsense gun safety!
— Gwen Graham (@GwenGraham) August 25, 2018
The endorsement also shows the strong support Graham has received so far from some of the biggest Democratic leaders along Florida’s I-4 corridor, an area that has become critical in winning statewide races.
(Notably, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry went another way, endorsing Andrew Gillum.)
Graham’s campaign hopes her edge with the endorsement from the state’s most notable mayors will move voters into her camp come Tuesday’s primary.
The support seems particularly impressive as the Democratic primary field this year includes two candidates with experience as mayors of major cities—former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Tallahassee Mayor Gillum.
The most recent polls show Graham and Levine running neck and neck, with Gillum enjoying a surge in support in advance of Tuesday’s Democratic primary.