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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn Endorses Gwen Graham For Governor

Roberto Roldan
WUSF Public Media
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's endorsement comes as 18 counties have already started early voting.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is throwing his support behind Gwen Graham in her bid to be Florida's next governor.

Buckhorn said he intended on staying neutral in the race, but decided to endorse Graham because of her record on environmental protection, her support for felon voting rights restoration and her opposition to offshore drilling.

He also said he wants to see the gubernatorial glass ceiling smashed, as Graham would be Florida's first female governor if elected.

"I love being able to tell my daughters that I participated in helping make history, and that I did it for the right reasons, for the right choice and for the right woman," Buckhorn said. "This is a day for me to step out and say 'I'm with Gwen.'"

Buckhorn has been rumored to be a candidate for lieutenant governor. Graham refused to address the issue on Thursday, saying she will make her choice after the primary. She instead kept the focus on the algae bloom in South Florida and her support for Everglades restoration.

Standing in front of other politicians that are supporting her, such as former state congresswoman Arthenia Joyner and Tampa city councilman Mike Suarez, Graham praised the city's economic development under Buckhorn.

"It's going to take us working together across the state of Florida to restore the bright future that I know we all want for this state," Graham said. "The success story that is Tampa is a success story we can take all across this state."

The most recent polling show Graham neck-and-neck with former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine in the Democratic primary.

Roberto Roldan is a senior at the University of South Florida pursuing a degree in mass communications and a minor in international studies.
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