Can one of these Florida Democrats halt two decades of failure?

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, businessman Chris King and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham before a Democratic candidate forum in Hollywood June 17.

Exactly one year before the 2018 primary, Florida’s three leading Democratic candidates for governor — Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham and Chris King — will appear together today at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches lunch in West Palm Beach.

If a June forum with the three candidates is any guide, the candidates won’t attack one another or draw sharp contrasts.

The late Lawton Chiles was the last Democrat to win an election for governor in Florida. That was in 1994.

Instead, each Democrat has been trying early in the campaign to make the case that he or she has the electability that eluded Buddy MacKay, Bill McBride, Jim Davis, Alex Sink and Charlie Crist. The last five Democratic nominees for governor have lost to Republicans.

The last Democrat to win a gubernatorial race was Gov. Lawton Chiles in his 1994 re-election bid.

Tallahassee Mayor Gillum has pitched himself as the candidate best able to end the Democratic drought by firing up the party’s progressive base.

Former U.S. Rep. Graham presents herself as a candidate with a proven record of winning Republican and independent votes.

Winter Park businessman King plays up his status as an outsider who says he can counter the typical Republican criticism of Democrats because he has “created jobs…created successful businesses, created profit, delivered returns to investors, served customers all across the country.”

Check out PostOnPolitics.com, MyPalmBeachPost.com and @gbennettpost on Twitter later today for coverage of the Democratic forum.

 

 

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