Going back to last summer, Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been critical of some of the votes made by opponent Gwen Graham during her single term in Congress. With the race for the nomination now beginning to heat up, Winter Park businessman Chris King has now joined in attacking her record.
While not exacting embracing the comments, Graham says she knows it comes with the territory as being the presumptive front-runner for the nomination, as the Florida Democratic Party hopes the so-called “blue wave” will be enough to overturn two decades of Republican rule in the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee this fall.
“It is in my opinion we shouldn’t be attacking each other. Of course, the reality is when you’re seen as the front-runner, people are going to come after you, so I understand that,” Graham said on Saturday night, shortly before she spoke before a large crowd of Democrats at the Tampa Hilton Hotel. “Politics is a contact sport and I’m all ready to do what I need to do to make sure that my message gets out. I don’t want the message to get drowned out by the negativity that is part of politics. So I’m going to stay above the fray, but we’ll respond when necessary.”
As the attacks came from both Gillum and King at at one point during last week’s Fox-13 televised debate, Graham labeled it “Gwen and the men.” (Her debate performance earned her the “the winner of the week” in Florida politics as decided by the Tampa Bay Times Adam Smith).
‘I was really proud of my performance at the debate and think it reflected my commitment to the state of Florida,” Graham said.
Naturally, King and Gillum disagree. Specifically referring to her response to a question during the debate on her support on the SAFE Act which would block Syrian refugees from the U.S., a King spokesman said the biggest debate on Wednesday “was between Gwen Graham and herself.”
Gillum also continues to attack. Referring to some of her votes that were against the interests of President Barack Obama, Gillum said on Saturday that he voted for Graham when she ran for Congress in 2014 “to help uplift…