Democrat Philip Levine close to entering Florida governor’s race

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine‘s political committee announced more hires today that make it appear all but certain Levine will be launching a Democratic campaign for governor soon.

Already announced Democratic candidates for governor, from left: Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, Chris King.

Levine announced in January that he’s “exploring” a statewide run and in February formed the All About Florida committee. Consultant Christian Ulvert, the senior adviser to All About Florida, said Levine will make a final decision on whether to run for governor in the next two to four weeks.

All About Florida has raised nearly $4.8 million, with the wealthy Levine pumping in $2.6 million of his own money. The committee has raised more money than any of the three announced Democratic candidates for governor: former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park businessman Chris King.

All About Florida hired veteran Democratic fundraiser Courtney Whitney as finance director this month and today announced the hiring of three consultants: Political communications firm Pivot, pollster EMC Research and digital strategy specialist MDW Communications.

“Mayor Levine and our growing team of talented advisors and consultants are excited about the path forward,” Ulvert said without specifying what that path forward is. “The country is being tested today and in Florida, we face a decision on how to meet the challenges ahead. The addition of top national talent to All About Florida ensures that the progressive drive for results-focused leadership is front and center.”

Two other wealthy figures are also pondering Democratic bids for governor. Trial lawyer John Morgan topped a recent poll of Democratic voters despite not saying whether he’ll run. And Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene hasn’t shut the door on the possibility he’ll run.

 

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