By Jim Bleyer
With a threadbare resumé of public service and a record of voting for big business and against the environment, Gwen Graham has resorted to shouting that “it’s time” Florida elected a female governor.
She has reminded audiences at every campaign stop that she is a woman and her three announced primary opponents are male. The Graham staffer that concocted the “Gwen and the Men” slogan should never see another dawn as a paid political operative.
When Graham appeared with her primary opponents—Andrew Gillum, Chris King, and Phil Levine—at the Hillsborough Democratic Party’s Spring Fling last week, the main thrust of her brief remarks was that she is, indeed, a woman. The other candidates discussed issues, policy, and political philosophy.
Voters far prefer candidates that can be counted on to follow through on campaign promises and represent their interests regardless of gender. On this most important criterion, Graham, who is a woman, gets an F minus.
Residents in Florida’s Big Bend, for example, feel they were hoodwinked by Graham, a female, during her two-year stint as a backbencher in the U. S. House of Representatives. Her voting record was an abomination to the Democrats that turned out in droves for her in a purple district.
Graham, a biped with a vagina, voted with the Republicans and against the Florida Democratic delegation on key issues an amazing 43 percent of the time during the only one terms she served.
Ironically, the only other Florida Democrat out of sync with his party’s values, former Congressman Patrick Murphy, is contemplating a late run for the governorship. He failed in bis challenge to the vulnerable Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016 because progressive Democrats refused to vote for essentially another Republican in the general election.
My Democratic contacts in Leon County, the portion of the Congressional district that voted heavily for Graham in her lone Congressional race, regret her tenure. No one I spoke with would ever again vote for Graham, a distaff personage.
For two decades Florida Democrats have continued to employ the failed strategy of a hard pivot to the right.
Democratic candidates in Florida need to represent progressives or they have no chance in the general election. It will take far more than tapping into gender preferences or Phil Levine’s personal fortune to prevail in a statewide race.