Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former member of Congress, Gwen Graham, appears open to the idea of including a Republican on the ticket, and she specifically acknowledged that person could be “friend” and former GOP Congressman David Jolly.
In a report by Politico published Monday morning, Graham told the Miami-based “Strange Days” podcast last week that she would be open to the idea of running with “someone who can help me govern.”
The idea of a bipartisan ticket that specifically included Jolly as a lieutenant governor, was first floated last month by another former Democratic Congressman, Patrick Murphy. Murphy has said his supporters are encouraging him to enter the race for governor. A poll commissioned by Murphy showed voters liked the idea of a split ticket and a Murhpy-Jolly campaign would find itself near the top of the race.
In her interview on the podcast, Graham said she would even be open to the idea of having Murphy as a running mate.
“I see my lieutenant governor selection as someone who’s going to be right by my side helping me get this state back on the right path,” Graham told the podcast’s host, Fernand Amandi. “And so Patrick would certainly fit that definition, as would David, as would all the other candidates for governor on the Democratic ticket at the moment. So it’s really going to be for me a thorough analysis of who can bring the most to help make the biggest difference in the state of Florida.”
Graham’s apparent willingness to consider a split ticket brought renewed criticism from supporters of her opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who characterized Graham as being more conservative.
Graham attacked Gillum last week for a spot being run by a political action committee called The Collective that portrays Graham’s voting record in Congress as being more conservative, including votes against President Barack Obama policies. Graham said the claims were false and called on Gillum to urge the group to pull the spot, but Gillum says Graham’s voting record speaks for itself.
“It’s beyond frustrating that the self-described ‘very conservative’ Gwen Graham is already considering splitting the ticket to run with the GOP, especially with an energized Democratic base ready to vote Republicans out,” said one of Gillum’s top liberal surrogates, Orlando Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.
Jolly, while a Republican, is considered to be more of a moderate. He has spoken out in opposition to the policies of President Donald Trump.