Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has long been expected to enter the 2018 race for the Democratic nomination for governor later this year.
But Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith notes that Levine, a registered Democrat and major Democratic donor, raised another possibility at a Tiger Bay lunch in Tampa on Friday.
When asked about working with a Republican-controlled legislature, Levine said: “There’s one assumption that you made there – that somehow if I ran for governor I would be a Democratic governor…Too much is about Democrat and Republican. It needs to be about the people. … Maybe possibly it’s time we do something different.”
Levine highlighted Smith’s article on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend:
The Democratic field already includes former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King, with trial lawyer John Morgan considering the race as well.
The last major independent candidate to run statewide was Charlie Crist, who began a 2010 campaign for Senate as the state’s elected Republican governor but left the party when Marco Rubio overtook him in GOP polls. Running as a no-party candidate with universal name recognition as the sittitng governor, Crist got 29.7 percent in the 2010 general election for Senate. Rubio won with 48.9 percent and Democrat Kendrick Meek got 20.2 percent.