State Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, is endorsing Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum‘s 2018 Democratic bid for governor.
If you’re keeping score, the list of Palm Beach County elected officials endorsing Gillum now includes Tax Collector Anne Gannon, Senate Democratic leader-designate Jeff Clemens and state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo in addition to Powell.
Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, who’s also seeking the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor, has landed endorsements in Palm Beach County from Democratic state Reps. Lori Berman, Emily Slosberg and David Silvers.
Deep-blue Palm Beach County is a key battleground in any Democratic primary. A third Dem who’s running for governor, Winter Park businessman Chris King, plans to visit tonight’s Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee meeting in West Palm Beach.
Here’s Powell’s endorsement statement on Gillum: “I’m proud to endorse Andrew Gillum for Governor. I have known Andrew for more than 15 years. He is passionate and committed to the citizens of Florida, and has always been a consummate public servant. Andrew is the only candidate capable of rebuilding Florida’s economy so that it creates better-paying jobs at every rung of the income ladder, and his bold proposal to protect the healthcare of Floridians with a pre-existing conditions is the kind of solution we need. I’m excited to endorse him so we can best serve the people of Florida together,”
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam wasn’t a gung-ho supporter of Donald Trump in 2016, making it known the Republican nominee “wasn’t my first or second choice” but was preferable to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Now Putnam is a 2018 candidate for governor who could use the energy of Trump supporters in a Republican primary. Putnam’s campaign has begun circulating an online petition to “stand with President Trump” in response to Kathy Griffin‘s gory severed-head video of the president.
“Kathy Griffin is celebrated for a gruesome mock beheading of President Trump. This kind of liberal outrage has no place in our society. Sign my petition to stand with President Trump against the disgusting hypocrisy of the left,” says the Putnam petition.
Putnam’s campaign also announced Wednesday that it will begin June with $10 million in cash on hand for the governor’s race.
Putnam filed papers to enter the governor’s race on May 1 and his official campaign says it raised $1.1 million during the month. The pro-Putnam Florida Grown political committee, formed in 2015, began May with $8.2 million in its coffers and raised about $1 million more last month.
The Putnam campaign and Florida Grown don’t have to file May reports with the Florida Division of Elections until June 10. But Team Putnam wants to publicize its numbers quickly so other potential GOP candidates — such as House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, or U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach — might have second thoughts about getting in the race.
Corcoran has said he’ll wait until 2018 to decide whether he’s running.
Latvala has said he’ll make a decision this summer.
DeSantis has been seen as a potential candidate for attorney general, but some conservatives are also encouraging him to look at the governor’s race. He began April with $1.7 million in cash on hand in his congressional campaign, money that could be put toward a governor’s race. Similarly, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham recently put $950,000 in leftover federal campaign cash into the Our Florida political committee supporting her Democratic bid for governor.