Large crowds turned up to the Democratic primary gubernatorial debate Tuesday evening at the Miramar Cultural Center to support their preferred governor candidates.
The four candidates: former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham and founder of Elevation Financial Group Chris King, debated on topics ranging from education and abortion to gun control.
The two-hour debate was very cohesive throughout the night, as all candidates had a similar view on various topics, agreeing on issues such as gun control, but varying on how to execute the plan.
“I’m supporting Philip Levine, number one, because of gun control. I think that’s really important, especially in our state after we had a really devastating school shooting, and Philip Levine is really strong on gun control,” said Baylar Ratzan, a volunteer who wore a shirt to display her support for Levine.
Next to the Levine’s support group was Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum supporters using megaphones to voice their support; among them was Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam.
“He has done a lot for his advocacy for the important issues that’s going to move our state forward. We know that he has the resume, he has the solutions and he has the actual ability to inspire electorate to be able to turn out in a large amount of numbers to win this race,” said Messam.
Newcomer Chris King, who has not held an official government position, said he has “big bold ideas” that he has presented throughout his campaign, with a hope to get the youth behind him.
“It’s about doing something different. Everything that I tried to say tonight was we need a different kind of candidate who is willing to take bold, progressive positions,” said King.
Graham – the only female candidate running— on other hand is appealing to women and teachers. Through the night she kept pronouncing that the future governor will be a she.
“It is time to have a governor in Tallahassee that cares about Floridians, that is waking up every single day, thinking how she can make a positive difference in people’s lives,” said Graham.
While they all have different executions, one thing is clear – all four candidates had one defined goal: Get a Democrat into the governor’s seat.