The field of four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor appears to have expanded to five. Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene filed his paperwork to run late Friday afternoon.
Although he’s getting a late start in the race, with his vast wealth, Greene has the ability to be a serious contender. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and spent about $23 million of is own money. He lost to Kendrick Meek in the primary receiving 31 percent of the vote compared to Meek’s 58 percent.
Prior to his Senate bid, Greene was a registered Republican who ran for Congress in California in 1982 when he was 28. He lost that race receiving just over 28 percent of the vote.
Greene has an image of being a partier, an issue that surfaced during the 2010 Senate race. He might also have some problems with Democrats regarding his friendship and support of President Donald Trump, which he talked about in an interview with Forbes after the 2016 election.
“At this point, my neighbor has won, and I am behind him 100 percent, as we all should be. I hope all Democrats do the opposite of what (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell did, when President Obama was elected, and get behind Donald Trump.”
Greene joins the other Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor: former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando-area businessman Chris King.
Gillum was the first of the candidates to comment on Greene’s entrance into the race. He was quick to distinguish himself from Greene and the other candidates in the Democratic field.
“I welcome Jeff Greene to this race to become Florida’s next Governor,” Gillum said in a written statement released by his campaign Monday morning. “As the son of a construction worker and bus driver, and still the only non-millionaire Democrat in our primary, I believe Florida Democrats need a true champion for working people as their nominee. I look forward to continuing this contest of ideas with Jeff in the field.”