Candidate Chris King says this upcoming governor's election in Florida could be "transformative" but he has an uphill battle ahead.
PANAMA CITY BEACH — The upcoming governor’s election could be “transformative” candidate Chris King told voters at a Friday meet and greet at the Democratic Women’s Club of Bay County.
“We've lost this election five times in a row because we've only offered voters conventional choices from the political establishment,” King said. “What makes me different is that I believe I have a vision for this state that excites voters, whether that's free community college, a tax on bullets to keep our kids safe, or protecting Florida's environment.”
King is facing a crowded field in the Democratic primary, that includes Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, developer Jeff Greene and Democratic frontrunner Gwen Graham. He’s currently last in the polls.
King said polls will fluctuate, and he’s focused on the challenges facing Floridians.
“No one doubts the impact we're having on this race and we've moved the rest of the Democratic field in a more progressive direction on almost every issue, from affordable housing to criminal justice reform to standing up to Big Sugar,” he said.
Florida needs change, King said, and that change is greater than replacing a Republican with a Democrat.
“I believe we need to end conventional politics in Florida and offer voters a truly progressive vision for the future,” he said. “It's why I'm the first candidate in a generation to stand up to sugar corporations polluting our environment, and why I'm a champion for free community college and trade school. We need bold, progressive ideas and courageous leaders to tackle the challenges facing everyday Floridians.”
At the event, King also talked about reducing mass incarceration, ending private prisons in the state, institutional racism, and women’s rights.
The event granted Democrats and independent voters the chance to meet the candidate in person and support him whether they plan to vote for him or not, said club president Candice Burgess. She said the organization is committed to educating members, friends, and Democratic citizens about candidates and issues that Democrats care about.
Mira Vucicevic of Panama City dropped by the event to get to know the candidate.
“Headquarters is the place to get to know people,” Vucicevic said. “I like how he talked about values and things we’re worried about like stand-your-ground and the environment.”
Burgess said the club is excited to have so many “wonderful” Democratic candidates who are willing to “make the state a better place for residents.”
The club has invited all Democratic candidates to stop by the headquarters, she said.
“We’ve hosted Philip Levine, Bob Rackleff, Brandon Peters, Mrs. Grace Nelson, Bill Nelson, Ryan Torrens, Sean Shaw and Gwen Graham has been to our club numerous times in the past. Andrew Gillum was in Panama City at the Black Caucus fish fry and we’ve tried to get him to our Democratic headquarters,” Burgess said.
The Primary Election will be Aug. 28, and the General Election will be Nov. 6.