Gwen Graham, daughter of former governor, enters Florida governor race

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The field of Democratic candidates running for governor in Florida continues to grow.

The daughter of former Governor Bob Graham is now a candidate herself. And Gwen Graham says running is more than just about legacy.

News Channel 8’s Paul Mueller spoke with her for this week’s one-on-one interview:

Paul: You’ve billed yourself as not a career politician. Why is that?

Gwen Graham: Well this is not something I ever thought I would be doing in my life. In 2012 when I made a decision to run for congress it was purely because I was very frustrated with the inability of people to get along and actually work on behalf of the people that elect them to hold office.

Paul: Right now, that budget battle that’s going on in Tallahassee. What would you do if you were governor?

Gwen Graham: First of all, they’re being very childish. It is not acceptable as a mom. I would pull everybody into a room. We work for the people of Florida. Cut it out. We have to get together and do what’s right for Florida and I will be a force to bring people together to make sure that happens

Paul: and the legislation to regulate the constitutional amendment on marijuana. We’ve been talking about that for years.  What would you do about that?

Gwen Graham: The people of Florida have spoken loudly. They voted overwhelmingly in favor of the constitutional amendment. Again, why aren’t the people in Tallahassee listening to the Florida voters? This is about today our environment, our beautiful environment. We passed an amendment one year ago. That amendment was specifically to protect, to purchase land and purchase waters that are environmentally sensitive so that we can protect them for future generations of Floridians. I think the people of Florida should be up in arms that the legislators in Tallahassee are not doing what they have asked them to do.

Paul: So we talked about the health care bill and we talked about one of the sticking point being pre-existing conditions. The states could opt of it. What would you do?

Gwen Graham: Absolutely not. We would not opt out of pre-existing conditions. It is something the insurance companies should want to help people that are actually and need insurance. And when you’re facing a health emergency, it is appalling to think that an insurance company can make the decision whether you live or die. That is not acceptable.

Paul: Your thoughts on Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala and the accused cop killer case of Markeith Loyd? Governor Scott going ahead and pulling her off that death penalty case and all death penalty cases? Would you have gone so far as Governor Scott did?

Gwen Graham: I think this is an open legal question and I believe there is a lawsuit going on right now and I’ll be curious and interested to see who has the authority to make these decisions and that is an open case right now and that information will be very important to understand legally if Governor Scott acted in a way that he was actually allowed to.

Paul: The most important part of your campaign platform is what?

Gwen Graham: Caring about Florida again. And doing so with the recognition that we need to get back to a government that cares about people, cares about making sure our environment is well cared for and loved, cares about making sure our public education system is a system that actually encourages our kids to come to school and be excited about learning and get out in the world and find a job that they are passionate about and has an economy that is an economy that is working for all Floridians. It breaks my heart to know that there are people that have to work multiple jobs just to make sure they’re not going to go into poverty.  So we will do better as a state when I am governor.


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