Democrat Chris King stood in the shadows of the state Capitol in Tallahassee Friday morning as he filed his qualifying papers in the governor’s race, the last of the gubernatorial candidates to do so.
“I believe this city needs a change. The state needs a change,” King said. “And it’s more than replacing one Republican with one Democrat. I’ve argued that the Democrats don’t just need to win, they need to be transformative. And we need a new type of leader and someone who is willing to go up against conventional politics.”
King takes pride in his progressive views. He has proposed ending the state’s death penalty, legalizing marijuana and placing a tax on bullets to fund gun safety programs. He has unapologetically spoken out against the influence of Big Sugar and the National Rifle Association in state government.
“Whether it’s standing up to the NRA, calling out Big Sugar or taking on the political establishment, this campaign is giving Democrats a break from the failed conventional politics of the past and putting forth a bold, progressive vision for Florida’s future,” King said.
The King campaign also announced Friday it was launching a new digital ad (see below) that will be seen on Facebook. The spot is called “Swing for the Fences and features highlights from King’s performances in the recent Democratic gubernatorial debates.
King has consistently come in fourth place in recent polls with his support in the single digits. But results of a poll released by Raba Research on Thursday showed King making a strong showing, coming in third place receiving the support of 15 percent of the voters surveyed.
“This is a daunting task and I’ve got 10 weeks to try to complete the job,” King said. “But you’d better believe I’ve got a pretty aggressive and assertive plan in the month of July and August to spread our message across the state.”
The Raba Research poll shows Philip Levine with a slim 1-point lead over Gwen Graham. Levine received support from 27 percent of Democratic voters likely to cast ballots in the August 28 primary. Graham received 26 percent.
“What makes me stick out…is that I’m talking about things and I’m putting together a vision that’s very different from anybody I’m running against,” King says.
The Orlando-area millionaire businessman insists he has a path to win the Democratic nomination for governor, but he admits it is a difficult path.
“What I need is, over the next 10 weeks, I need 25 to 30 percent of the Democrats in this state to say ‘we like what he’s doing, he’s different, he’s authentic, he’s passionate, there’s no other agenda than to transform the state of Florida.’”