Gwen Graham Archives - Florida Politics

Where are Ron DeSantis’ better angels?

Wednesday night provided a case study on how politicians should respond when a natural disaster hits their state.

Offering a shining example, former U.S. Rep. and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham was pictured volunteering at a local Red Cross shelter in Gadsden County. This is the second time in 13 months Graham and her husband helped manage a shelter set up to assist as many as 700 people.

Gwen Graham offers assistance to an evacuee from Hurricane Michael on October 10, 2018. Photo credit: Facebook.

Contrast Graham’s response with that of Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for Florida governor. Already facing criticism, including from former Governor Jeb Bush, for continuing to air negative ads against his opponent, the former congressman took to to Fox News to attack Andrew Gillum yet again.

DeSantis had earlier in the day told Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski that while Hurricane Michael was bearing down on Florida it was not an appropriate time to talk about the campaign. Yet here was DeSantis hours later, making a partisan play against Gillum.

It’s inexplicable what Team DeSantis was thinking when it decided it was a good idea for its candidate to appear on Fox News. Unless DeSantis was prepared to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with the number where viewers could text a donation to hurricane victims, he had no business appearing on network TV last night.

This is yet another unforced error from DeSantis — one that makes him appear insensitive, if not crass.

Contrary to what many others were arguing, I did not believe DeSantis’ negative ads needed to come down in markets not affected by the hurricane. My thinking was influenced by what a bad decision it was for John McCain to suspend his presidential campaign during the 2008 financial crisis. Rather than looking like a statesman, McCain came off as confused and ineffectual.

That’s why DeSantis was smart not to suspend his campaign. And he was doing the right thing by organizing low-key rallies where folks could donate supplies to the victims in north Florida.

But then he undoes all that by playing political pundit — the job for which he appears best suited — on Fox News.

There is no doubt that Ron DeSantis excels at being, as the Florida Democratic Party labeled him last night, a “partisan warrior.” But this latest episode raises the question: Has he demonstrated he has the leadership needed to govern the state?

Look at Gwen Graham. Look at the pictures her husband posted on Facebook. She exudes the kind of empathy we hope for in not just our leaders, but ourselves. That in moments of great consequence, we are capable of offering something of ourselves to those in need.

Look at this picture of Graham comforting a child impacted by the hurricane.

It’s hard to see that and not wonder why she’s not Florida’s next governor. But that would take away from what Gillum accomplished on the campaign trail and so that kind of question has to be put away some place.

But what can be asked is this: Why have we never seen this kind of moment from Ron DeSantis? The only time I can think of DeSantis being photographed with a child is when he made that television ad in which he taught his children about why America needed to ‘build a wall.’

Just once, it would be reassuring to see Ron DeSantis, the well-educated former naval officer, husband and father, allow his better angels to guide him on the campaign trail.

Instead, he’s listening to someone — or something inside him — that thought it best, while hundreds of thousands of Floridians were without power, to go on TV and knock his political opponent one more time.

Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis reel in records amount of matching money

With slightly more than a month to go before the November election, Florida statewide candidates have topped a matching-funds record from the 2010 election.

Bolstered by small-dollar fundraising in the race for Governor, $6.08 million has been sent by the state to candidates this year, according to figures provided Tuesday by the Florida Division of Elections.

A little more than $400,000 was sent out on Friday to five candidates in the Nov. 6 general election.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s latest check from the state was for $246,965, and former Congressman Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for governor, received a check for $140,037.

In 2010, the state doled out $6.065 million to 10 candidates in the controversial matching-funds program, which voters approved in 1998 with the intention of diminishing the importance of special-interest money.

Some lawmakers continue to push for repealing the program. But the Legislature has not put the issue back before voters since a 2010 effort failed when it only gained 52.5 percent of the vote, short of the required 60 percent for adoption.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican, called the program a “gross waste of taxpayer money” in 2017 when he called for the state Constitution Revision Commission to propose a measure to remove public financing from the Constitution.

Even before this year’s Aug. 28 primary, candidates seeking the taxpayer money shot past the 2014 matching-funds total of $4.3 million.

The program matches individual contributions of $250 or less to the campaign accounts of candidates for statewide offices. Candidates do not have to take part in the program.

With the latest check, DeSantis has received $1.37 million from the state.

Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, has landed $1.1 million from the program.

In all, nine statewide candidates this year decided to dip into the fund, though four of those candidates — including gubernatorial candidates Gwen Graham and Adam Putnam — lost their primaries.

The two remaining candidates in the race for Agriculture Commissioner, Republican Matt Caldwell and Democrat Nikki Fried, have not tapped the program. Caldwell, who won his primary with 34.6 percent of the vote, decried the use of the matching-funds program as “campaign welfare.”

In the race for Attorney General, Democrat Sean Shaw got a check for $12,152 on Friday and has received $251,578 from the program. Republican Ashley Moody received $1,580 in matching funds on Friday and has received $384,026 from the state.

In the race for state chief financial officer, incumbent Republican Jimmy Patronis received a check for $840 on Friday. Patronis has received $310,600 through the program. Democratic CFO candidate Jeremy Ring has not taken part in the program.

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Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

Sean Shaw

Personnel note: Sean Shaw for AG brings on Julia Gill Woodward, Shellie Levin

Democratic state Rep. Sean Shaw has brought on longtime Gwen Graham staffer Julia Gill Woodward and Alex Sink for Governor alumna Shellie Levin as senior finance consultants for his statewide bid for Attorney General.

Woodward, a graduate of Florida State University, was Graham’s campaign manager during her 2018 bid to become Florida Governor, which fell short by a couple points in last month’s primary election.

Prior to the 2018 run, Woodward worked on Graham’s successful 2014 campaign to oust of former U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland from the old 2nd Congressional District. Following that victory, she followed Graham to Washington DC to serve as her chief of staff during her single term in Congress.

Before her work for Graham, Woodward spent a year as the deputy campaign manager and the finance director for Keith Fitzgerald’s 2012 congressional bid. She also served stints as the statewide political director for Loranne Ausley’s CFO bid and the deputy finance director for the Florida Democratic Party.

Also joining Team Shaw’s is Levin, an attorney whose political beginnings date back to 1997, when she began working for EMILY’s List, a national group that helps elect pro-choice Democratic to public office.

In 2010 she joined former CFO Alex Sink’s gubernatorial campaign, serving as deputy campaign manager where she was tasked with restructuring the finance team that ended up raising more than $40 million for the statewide campaign.

In the years since, the Nova Southeastern law school alumna has worked under the banner of Shellie Levin Solutions, with a client roster that has included EMILY’s List, America Votes and Floridians for Solar Choice, which was unable to get its own preferred ballot imitative before Florida voters two years ago but was a staunch opponent of the failed amendment pushed by Consumers for Smart Solar.

The new hires come about a week after Shaw announced his general election finance committee, which includes more than 20 members, including Sink, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and St. Petersburg state Rep. Ben Diamond as well as numerous Florida attorneys.

Shaw, who served as insurance consumer advocate under Sink, easily won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General in the Aug. 28 primary election and now moves on to face Republican nominee Ashley Moody, a former prosecutor and circuit court judge.

As of Sept. 14, Shaw held a cash lead in the statewide race with a combined $637,000 in campaign and committee dollars at the ready, though he trails in overall fundraising. Moody expended most of her funds in her bruising primary against Pensacola Rep. Frank White and had about $156,000 between her two accounts on Sept. 14.

The general election is Nov. 6.

Bill Nelson

Andrew Gillum to make first Pinellas appearance since primary win

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is making his first campaign stop in Pinellas County since his surprise victory in the Democratic primary for Governor.

Gillum and incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson are featured speakers at the Pinellas County ‘Democrats’ Wave to Victory’ dinner this Saturday at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon.

The event is the party’s biggest fundraiser benefiting Pinellas County Democratic candidates.

While the hotel is nowhere near Pinellas beaches, red tide will likely be a topic of conversation. Gillum is considering touring some of the devastation this weekend, according to campaign sources.

The giant bacteria bloom, known as red tide for discoloring water to a rust-like color, is covering Florida’s Gulf Coast from southwest Florida all the way north to Clearwater.

Mounds of dead fish have been piling up on beaches. The foul odor and even respiratory distress caused from bacteria in the air has pushed visitors away from the beach, leaving popular spots like John’s Pass looking like ghost towns.

The issue has become a talking point, particularly in Nelson’s campaign. His opponent, term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Scott, was booed out of a Cuban restaurant in Venice this week by critics.

While the campaign and the Governor’s Office continue to emphasize red tide is a naturally occurring event that has been ongoing since the 1840s, Democrats and other critics fire back that his environmental policies have exacerbated the situation.

A Real Clear Politics poll released this week found 32 percent of respondents believed the state government was to blame for the outbreak.

Nelson’s race is one of the most important Senate races in the nation this year. While Democrats hope to overtake a majority in the Senate by unseating incumbent Republicans, they also must protect incumbent Democrats.

Polls show Nelson faces a credible risk of losing to Scott, and the Real Clear Politics poll put the two neck-and-neck this November.

Other guests at the Wave to Victory Dinner include Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw, CFO candidate Jeremy Ring, and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried.

Congressman Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman are also attending. The event includes a cocktail hour from 6-7 p.m. and dinner and program from 7-10 p.m.

Karen Halperin Cyphers: Does #MeToo reduce demand for a Bill Clinton endorsement?

Leading into Florida’s recent Democratic gubernatorial primary, the lone female candidate and presumed front-runner Gwen Graham was asked in a debate if she would accept support from former President Bill Clinton on the campaign trail … “given the #MeToo movement.”

She hesitated in answering and took heat from her opponents (and perhaps from some voters) for failing to welcome Clinton’s support wholeheartedly.

I don’t need a mention of #MeToo to be reminded of Clinton’s catalog of transgressions, including and beyond what constitutes abuse of power or exploitation in the workplace. Therefore, in my mind, Graham’s hesitation was warranted — even if not the most strategic answer when competing for Democratic votes.

But now Florida’s attention is on the most polarized and high-profile gubernatorial contest in the nation, in which support from nonpartisan voters will determine the outcome.

I wanted to know how Floridians across the political spectrum would react to the same question: Would an endorsement from the former president positively or negatively impact views toward the candidate he supports — with, and without, specific reference to #MeToo?

We tested this through an experimental survey design in which half of the 1,100 respondents were primed to think of #MeToo before answering the question, while half were not. It turns out that #MeToo matters — but not the same way for everyone. We found that a reference to the #MeToo movement:

— Dramatically increases negative views and decreases positive views among voters with no party affiliation (NPA). Following mention of the #MeToo movement, negative views among NPAs regarding a Clinton endorsement almost double, while favorable views drop from 22 percent to 3 percent.

 — Has NO impact on the portion of Republicans who view a Clinton endorsement positively or negatively — not unexpected, given the low regard for Clinton among Republicans.

— Has NO impact on the portion of Democrats who would view a Clinton endorsement negatively. However, a large portion of Democrats do shift from positive feelings to “neutral” when the #MeToo movement is referenced. Interestingly, Democratic women have an even less negative response to the #MeToo reference than Democratic men.

To me, these results suggest that Democrats are either in denial about the degree to which Bill Clinton has “#MeToo-d” women, or it simply doesn’t matter to them.

The fact that a reference to #MeToo moves non-partisans strongly but moves Democrats very little implies that partisanship eclipses other values, or somehow alters how standards are applied.

This wouldn’t be exclusive to Democrats — it doesn’t appear that most Republicans would punish those that President Trump endorses even if reminded of the many repellent things he’s said or done. Quite the opposite, as demonstrated by Florida’s Republican gubernatorial primary.

But in the current general election, the calculus shifts to which endorsements can rally a base without turning off (and, ideally, appealing to) voters in the middle.

And if voter perceptions of endorsements can, in fact, be influenced by something as little as a hash-tagged reference, there may be plenty to consider.

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Karen Halperin Cyphers, Ph.D., is a partner and vice president of research with Sachs Media Group in Tallahassee. Have curiosities or ideas for experimental survey questions? Email her at karen@sachsmedia.com.

Sean Pittman: Far-left labels don’t apply to Andrew Gillum

If you believe the conventional wisdom of the Florida Governor’s race, voters have a stark choice between a Bernie Sanders Democrat and a Donald Trump Republican.

Andrew Gillum, who recently chose his primary opponent Chris King as his running mate, is indeed running against Republican Congressman and presidential acolyte, Ron DeSantis, with Jeanette Nunez for Lieutenant Governor.

It is indeed a glaring political contrast, but not in the way the DeSantis camp would have you believe.

I can’t speak for the Republicans — and won’t. However, the far-out description doesn’t fit Gillum, and it shouldn’t fly as campaign fodder in the November election.

Yes, Sanders did come to Florida and endorse Gillum. But, Gillum was a Hillary Clinton surrogate during the 2016 campaign and made her short list for running mate. Gillum was part of a four-member effort in Tallahassee that raised $500,000 for Obama’s first run as president in 2008.

Now, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is with Gillum as brother-in-arms; his primary opponent, Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, told Gillum to “go out and win the d— thing” as part of her endorsement. State Sen. Lauren Book, the daughter of one of the capitol’s most influential lawyer/lobbyists, also made the shortlist for Gillum’s running mate.

If you know Florida politics, this is not exactly the makings of a leftist cabal.

Besides those who support him, Gillum’s record as Tallahassee Mayor doesn’t suggest a socialist ideology either. In fact, the mayor-turned-gubernatorial candidate has pushed sensible policies that have fostered growth and development in the state’s capital city.

As Mayor, Gillum got rid of business license fees, revised the permitting process to make it more timely and refunded utility deposits to businesses in good standing. The changes made Tallahassee a better place for business and home to Florida’s fastest growing economy.

But, what about all that support from George Soros and Tom Steyer, the two billionaires most identified with progressive causes? Gillum may share political beliefs with the two, but he also appreciates the support from them and the full range of Floridians backing his campaign.

The reality is that many of these so-called progressive issues are becoming more mainstream by the day. Poll after poll shows a majority of Americans favor “Medicare-for-All.” People actually want affordable and accessible health care, including many Republicans who see the value in Medicare and Medicaid expansion as a way to improve medical services and lower drug prices.

Raising the minimum wage in Florida fails the radical-left standard, too.

You don’t need a poll, although several do show Floridians think the current state minimum wage of $8.25 needs to be raised, given our low-wage economy makes it difficult to make ends meet with only one job.

So, while it may be easy to mischaracterize Gillum as a member of the radical fringe, it’s just not true. Facts suggest otherwise.

As the campaign goes on, more and more Floridians will see Gillum for who for who use he is — a pragmatic candidate whose common-sense ideas are welcome by the voters and much more mainstream than many pundits think.

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Sean Pittman is the senior partner of the Pittman Law Group, a Tallahassee-based law firm and co-host of Sunday morning television talk show “The Usual Suspects.”

Ron DeSantis reels in most matching funds

Florida’s matching-funds program pumped $142,665 more into the governor’s race on Friday.

The program, which matches contributions of $250 or less for gubernatorial and Cabinet candidates who qualify, sent a check worth $79,488 to Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis and $63,177 to Democrat Andrew Gillum.

DeSantis, a Northeast Florida congressman, has now received $1.055 million from the program, while Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor, has collected $558,241, according to numbers posted on the state Division of Elections website.

Former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody, the Republican candidate for attorney general, received $35,574 on Friday. She has received $380,175 from the program. Her Democratic opponent, state Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa, didn’t get a check on Friday but has received $222,702 from the state.

Republican state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis got $350 on Friday, bumping his campaign’s state assistance to $305,105. Democrat Jeremy Ring, a former state senator running for chief financial officer, has not entered the program.

Overall, the state has provided nearly $5.2 million to candidates, including four who failed to win primaries — gubernatorial candidates Gwen Graham and Adam Putnam, attorney-general candidate Ryan Torrens, and agriculture-commissioner candidate Denise Grimsley. The gubernatorial race has accounted for $3.9 million of the state matching funds. In 2014, candidates drew $4.1 million from the state program during the primary and general elections.

One reason Gwen Graham isn’t Democratic LG pick: She wasn’t asked

If you’re wondering why Gwen Graham isn’t Andrew Gillum‘s choice to run with him as Lieutenant Governor … well, you’ll have to ask him.

He never called to ask her if she was interested.

Gillum, the Tallahassee Mayor who won the Democratic primary for Governor last month, never reached out to Graham directly or through back channels, according to two sources close to Graham.

He instead announced Winter Park businessman Chris King as his LG during a Facebook Live appearance Thursday. King was one of Gillum’s competitors for the Governor spot.

“Gwen was never contacted by the nominee regarding LG (even as a courtesy) and always has put the State over her own personal interests,” this source said. “She would have served and served well if called upon to do so.”

But she wasn’t, adding a bit more fuel to the fire that despite the public show of détente by all the parties, there’s still a reservoir of bad blood separating the two camps.

A senior staffer on the Graham campaign confirmed that “Gillum never even reached out to talk to her about it.”

Moreover, “no one from their campaign has called or approached any of us to help in any way,” that person added.

That suggests she won’t have to mull whether she wants to be part of the Gillum administration because he has no intention to offer her a place if he’s elected.

Campaign matching funds expected to keep climbing

Florida’s controversial public matching-funds program for statewide candidates remains on a pace to surpass a high of $6.1 million that was handed out in the 2010 elections.

Last week’s primaries eliminated four of the nine gubernatorial and Cabinet candidates who had qualified for the program, which has already topped $4.9 million in distributions during the 2018 election cycle, according to numbers posted Friday by the Florida Division of Elections.

But heading into the November general election, the remaining participants in the program include both major-party gubernatorial candidates, Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum, who have combined to pick up $1.47 million in matching funds. Also, the two major-party candidates for attorney general, Republican Ashley Moody and Democrat Sean Shaw, have received a combined total of $567,302 from the program.

In addition, Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who didn’t have a primary challenger, has already drawn $304,755 from the program as he prepares for a Nov. 6 challenge from Democrat Jeremy Ring, a former state senator from Broward County.

The program matches contributions of $250 or less from individual donors after crossing a set fundraising threshold. It has already exceeded the $4.3 million distributed in the 2014 elections.

The program has long faced criticism, with opponents saying the state shouldn’t help finance campaigns. Repeal efforts have failed in recent legislative sessions, while candidates who made the program a campaign issue had mixed results in the primary.

In the Republican primary for agriculture commissioner, state Rep. Matt Caldwell, who declined to apply for matching funds, topped a primary field of four that included Sen. Denise Grimsley.

Caldwell, who won with 34.6 percent of the vote, decried the use of the matching-funds program as “campaign welfare.” Grimsley, the only candidate in the race who tapped into the program, received $275,183 from the state.

“Public financing of statewide political campaigns is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a disservice to Florida’s hard-working families,” Caldwell said during the campaign.

Meanwhile, the use of the program did not appear to hurt Moody in the Republican primary for attorney general. She has now drawn $344,600 from the program, which was the focus of ads by her primary opponent, state Rep. Frank White of Pensacola.

White, who lost by 13 percentage points in the primary, sent out a flyer that highlighted paperwork filed by Moody seeking matching funds next to a comment attributed to her saying she stands for reducing government waste.

Moody campaign spokeswoman Christina Johnson countered that the program helps people combat self-funded candidates such as White, who poured personal money into the campaign.

Ryan Torrens, who was defeated by Shaw for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, received $88,694 from the program.

Shaw, who received a check for $17,425 from the state on Friday, has drawn $222,701 from the program.

In the governor’s race, DeSantis has drawn $975,836 from the program, while Gillum has received $495,065, according to the numbers posted Friday.

Outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who was defeated by DeSantis in the Republican gubernatorial primary, received $1.08 million from the program. Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, who finished second to Gillum in the Democratic primary, drew $1.22 million from the program.

Don’t do it, Lauren Book

The Gwen Graham for Governor yard signs were not even down before the man who beat her in last week’s Democratic primary for Florida governor, Andrew Gillum, was being asked if he would consider her as a running mate.

There’s a reason God put Labor Day Weekend right after Election Day, and that was so the candidates who have spent the better part of a year crisscrossing the state in pursuit of votes get a chance to collect themselves after the grueling primaries.

Ron DeSantis, the Ponte Vedra congressman who is now the stand-bearer for the Republican Party demonstrated, with his dog-whistling ‘monkey‘ comment, why no winning (and exhausted) candidate should give interviews the day after an election. Is there any question that DeSantis would have been better off if he had said, as does the Super Bowl MVP, he was taking his family to Disney World for the weekend?

Instead, everyone wants to know who Gillum and DeSantis plan to pick as running mates. That question is quickly followed up with, ‘Who’s gonna win, Andrew or Ron?’

Give it a moment, people. Breathe. It’s gonna be a long two months to November.

In fact, that’s one of the many problems with Florida politics, that candidates spend about eighteen months running for their party’s nomination, then just eight weeks running in a general election. The Sunshine State would be better served if party nominees were chosen in the late Spring rather than when many folks are busy getting kids ready to go back to school.

But this is the system we are in, so the two candidates who shocked the political world by winning last Tuesday now must choose a dance partner by next Thursday.

If DeSantis wants to change the discussion from monkeys and racist robocalls, his campaign should start leaking his top one or two choices right before the Florida State football game begins at 8 p.m. Monday night. Then seize the initiative on the unofficial start of the general election campaign by unveiling his pick Tuesday morning.

Gillum, who probably hasn’t had a moment to himself to think about who he wants standing next to him for as much as the next eight years, is reportedly considering about five or six possible choices: Graham, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, Lauren Book, state Reps. Kristin Jacobs and Amy Mercado, and Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay.

For a variety of reasons, Gillum is under enormous pressure to select a female running mate. Choosing a woman would invigorate a constituency of the Democratic Party that is smarting after Graham’s loss. Everyone keeps saying 2018 is the year of the woman in politics, but with four dudes atop the two tickets — Gillum, DeSantis, Bill Nelson and Rick Scott — November 6 has the makings of a sausage party.

The animosity between the Gillum and Graham camps was palpable on the campaign trail and may be too much to overcome to add Graham to the ticket.

Murphy would be a formidable attack dog for Gillum, which may be needed in this campaign. But going the ‘Tim Kaine route,’ as one Democratic strategist described a Gillum-Murphy ticket, seems like an odd pairing.

Book, Jacobs, Mercado, and McKinlay each possess unique talents, and I’ll leave it to their surrogates to make a case for each of them. However, if I can personally appeal to Book, I have one message:

Don’t do it.

If asked by Gillum to be his running mate, politely but surely decline.

Lauren, you’re bigger and better than LG.

Book was recently re-election without opposition to a second term in the Florida Senate, where she has already demonstrated herself to be a capable leader willing to speak out against bullies (like former Sen. Jack Latvala) and for those who need a champion.

With her powerful father as her top cheerleader, Book is a political powerhouse, able to raise millions of dollars for any campaign on which she works.

It’s easy to understand why Gillum would want her as a running mate. She’s forcefully intelligent, telegenic, hardworking, and a prodigious fundraiser.

Gillum and Book on stage next to each other would communicate to many voters that this is not your father’s Democratic Party.

But Book should resist any entreaties to get up on that stage with Gillum.

First of all, she has more power in the Florida Senate, especially if the Democrats win the majority, than she would as Lieutenant Governor. The valets at the Governors Club have more juice than the occupant of LG’s office.

Second, Gillum’s chances of winning are, at best fifty-fifty. Book would have to give up her safe Senate seat to roll the dice with Gillum.

Third, whether Gillum wins or loses, Book’s time will come. If Gillum wins, she can be his staunch ally in the Senate and run in eight years when she’ll still probably be the youngest person on the ballot. If Gillum loses, Book is one of the front-runners to be the party’s nominee in 2022.

The bottom line: Book has a lot to lose just for a flipped coin’s chance of winning one of the worst jobs in Tallahassee.

Don’t do it, Senator.

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