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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Andrew Gillum seems to really, really dislike Gwen Graham's last name

"I don't have a famous last name and I cannot stroke my own check to become the next governor of the state of Florida," declared Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew at a Tallahassee Tiger Bay luncheon Thursday. It was a not-so-veiled shot at Democratic rival Gwen Graham, the daughter of a popular former governor and senator, Bob Graham, and at mega rich potential Democratic rivals John Morgan and Philip Levine.

Gillum and his supporters have been kvetching about famous last names and rich candidates at least since December, when someone launched a petition pleading with him to save Florida Democrats from rich people with famous last names: "...Yet, every Florida election cycle, the corporate special interests and political insiders limit our choices to those with personal wealth or famous last names. Then these same power brokers wonder why people across the state feel disengaged or unmotivated to vote."

Gillum and his campaign allies and advisers have sneered at famous last names over and over again. In fact, the Tallahassee mayor has emerged as the most combative Democrat in the primary, with fellow Tallahassee resident Graham being his main target.

In addition to the last name shot, Gillum has not so subtly derided politicians who tack to the right for political reasons or haven't consistently and wholehearedly supported Obamacare. (Graham used to represent an overwhelmingly Republican district and voted to raise Obamacare's definition of full-time employees from 30 hours to 40.)

Graham has vowed to wage a sunny, positive campaign. Gillum ultimately may make it impossible for her to do that.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 5:18pm]


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