With Democrat Gwen Graham making it official Thursday that she’s considering running for governor in two years, state Sen. Jeremy Ring also is declaring that he’s making calls about mounting a campaign.
Ring, D-Parkland, is term limited. But he said that he has been quietly exploring the idea of succeeding fellow multi-millionaire Gov. Rick Scott.
Graham’s possible entry isn’t an obstacle, Ring said Thursday.
“It comes down to three things: experience, message and how much money can raise,” Ring said. “I think nobody can match me on two out of three of those things.”
Ring said his 10 years in the state Senate give him a firm grasp on the issues facing Florida. As a former executive at Yahoo!, Ring has pushed for lawmakers to support more entrepreneurial programs in education and business recruitment — policies which he said would be a key part of his statewide message.
While Ring is worth $13.7 million, according to his latest financial disclosure report, raising money is the third rung on his ladder to the Governor’s Office that he’s going to be working hardest on.
“It’s a long way out,” Ring said of the 2018 race.
Ring has been a centrist Democrat, a social liberal whose support for business initiatives has won him praise from Republican lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Senate.
That could open some doors for him in fund-raising, although Graham also has cast herself as a moderate Democrat, saying her approach is the “North Florida way.”
The Democrats eyeing the race are joined by Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who is widely seen as a likely contender for governor. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio also looks like he could be available.