Max Linn at St. Pete Dems Club
Linn, left, emphasized his humble youth in St. Petersburg and more recent political activism to combat the notion that he's led a privileged life.
"I don't come from this portrayed silver spoon at all," he said.
Linn, of Treasure Island, started his own financial planning firm and is a multimillionaire who has donated about a quarter million dollars to his campaign. That gives him a financial lead over his Democratic opponents, Samm Simpson, middle, and Bob Hackworth, right.
"I know what it's like to do the tough fight," Linn said at the Piccadilly Cafeteria in St. Petersburg, talking about his work in the 1990s as the president of Florida Citizens for Term Limits to enact and preserve term limits on the Florida Legislature. He also spearheaded Ideas Florida, a statewide campaign to encourage citizens to run for public office.
He said he left the Republican Party when it abandoned fiscal responsibility and he switched to the Democratic Party after realizing that third-party candidacy wasn't viable. Linn ran for governor in 2006 with the Reform Party.
Simpson, who earned 34 percent of the vote when she ran against Young in 2006, was also at the meeting. The St. Petersburg Democratic Club political action committee has endorsed her.
Hackworth, the mayor of Dunedin, held a fundraiser in St. Petersburg last week.
The three Democratic candidates will debate on Thursday, July 10 at at 6:30 p.m. at Banquet Masters at 8100 Park Boulevard. A $15 ticket is required. Call 727-360-3971 for more information.
--Stephanie Garry, Times Staff Writer