Gwen Graham joins the Democratic gubernatorial air war with new TV ad

Former Democratic Florida Gov. Bob Graham makes an appearance in daughter Gwen Graham’s new TV ad as she seeks the governorship.

The first TV ad for former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham‘s gubernatorial bid debuts today with a $1 million buy in the Orlando and Tampa TV markets.

The 30-second spot highlights her status as a mom who was active in the PTA and as the daughter of former Florida Democratic Gov. Bob Graham. And while Gwen Graham has at least four rivals for the Democratic nomination, her ad has a general-election feel, urging voters to end two decades of Republican control of the governor’s mansion and Florida Legislature.

“Twenty years with one party running everything with all the wrong priorities,” Graham says in the ad. “The Florida Legislature have not taken Medicaid expansion, they have hurt education, they have used the lottery to reduce funding — but we’re going to take it back.”

Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine leads several Democratic polls after spending about $10 million on TV ads since November. Winter Park businessman Chris King began spending more than $1 million on TV ads last month. A PAC supporting Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum bought ads last month accusing Graham of not being liberal enough. A fourth Democrat, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, entered the race this week and another Palm Beach County Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, is expected to announce soon whether he will run for governor.

Marco Rubio to King’s Academy grads: ‘Rebel against our modern culture’

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio speaking at graduation ceremonies for The King’s Academy, from a video posted by the school.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio urged graduates of The King’s Academy to rebel against a culture he described as overly concerned with wealth, fame, approval and bitter political fighting.

Rubio spoke Thursday night at the private Christian school’s commencement ceremonies at Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens. The school posted Rubio’s remarks on YouTube.

Even if one isn’t a Christian, Rubio said, “I believe it is an indisputable truth that Jesus of Nazareth was the most influential person who ever lived. He had no money, he had no political power, he had no army. Didn’t even have an Instagram account….He led a counter-cultural revolution that ended up overthrowing the most powerful empire in the world.”

Two millennia later, Rubio said, “My advice to you is to rebel against our modern culture and embrace instead the one that has changed the world.”

Rubio told the graduates that following his advice would be difficult.

“The values that (Jesus) both taught and modeled are as unpopular today as they were in his time. Frankly it is something I struggle with and admit to not always getting right. After all, I’m in a line of work where I need at least more than half the people to like me. And I’m in this line of work at a time when so many people — sadly even those who confess to being followers of Jesus — reject many of the things he taught,” Rubio said.

“The more someone lives like Jesus, the more they exhibit true love,” said Rubio. Echoing Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, Rubio also mentioned patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as Christian attributes at odds with modern culture.

“It’s a culture where we increasingly separate ourselves from our neighbors, from our lifelong friends and even from family because of who they voted for or what they believe in,” Rubio said.

“This is the broader culture that, sadly, you inherit, but it does not have to be the culture you live in and it does not have to be the culture you leave behind,” Rubio said. “And so I ask you once again, rebel. Refuse to conform to this. It will most definitely change the course of your life. And if by some chance it catches on others copy you, then who knows, it may even end up changing and saving our country and saving and changing the world.”