Coming off recent polls that show his campaign for governor gaining traction with voters, Democrat Philip Levine is busy filling out his campaign staff. Tuesday, the former Miami Beach mayor announced the hiring of a statewide outreach coordinator, Robert Julien, and a statewide youth outreach director, Manny Orozco.
Orozco had previously held the post of Florida Campus Director for NextGen America, where he organized millennials on college campuses across the state for the 2018 midterm elections.
“As we’ve seen over the last few months, Florida’s young voters will be actively engaged in deciding the outcome of this crucial election,” said Matthew Van Name, Levine’s campaign manager. “Manny’s organizing experience will be an asset as we implement a youth-driven and college outreach program to engage with millennial voters on the issues that matter.”
Prior to his time with NextGen America, Orozco worked on Jon Ossoff’s congressional campaign in Georgia, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2012.
“This year, the youngest generation is fired up and ready to make history here in Florida by helping to elect the first Democratic Governor in over twenty years,” said Orozco. “I’m proud to be organizing the young vote for the candidate with the best progressive track record and forward-thinking vision.”
Julien, a native of Hialeah, is the son of Cuban immigrants. He previously served as campaign manager for Michelle Wu’s 2017 City Council campaign in Boston. He also served as a regional organizing director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign in Miami-Dade County.
“To make progress in 2018 and move our state forward we must build change from the bottom up. From Hialeah, to Tampa, to Jacksonville, it’s time to come together and elect a Governor who will put people over power,” said Julien.
“Building relationships with key constituencies is a fundamental part of reaching voters and delivering our message,” said Van Name. “Robert has excelled in his outreach role and is vital in implementing plan to connect with voters and community leaders in all of Florida’s sixty-seven counties.”
Recent polls have shown Levine leading his three Democratic opponents. The Capitolist’s HorseRace Index, which uses a weighted formula to come up with an average of all the polls conducted to date, shows Levine at the top of the list with 19.3 percent. He’s followed by former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham with 16.1 percent. Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum is third with 9.5 percent and Orlando-area businessman Chris King follows last with 3.2 percent.