The first Democratic Gubernatorial debate saw Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and businessman Chris King discussing a wide array of topics that ranged from education to gun control and the recent school shooting in Parkland.
Now, it’s been announced that they will take part in four more debates that will take place between June and August. The first will be held on June 9th in St. Petersburg; the second will take place on June 11th in Miramar; the third will take place on July 8th in Ft. Meyers and the last debate will take place on August 2nd in Miami.
This means that no debates will take place in central Florida, and Gillum raised concerns about this.
In response to this, Geoff Burgan, Andrew Gillum’s spokesman, commented that “What are Gwen Graham and Phil Levine afraid of in Jacksonville? From JEA, to important criminal justice issues, to Duval County public schools, Jacksonville’s residents want to know where their next Governor stands, and they deserve to hear from us in a debate.”
Christian Ulvert, Philip Levine’s spokesperson, responded to Gillum’s thoughts by detailing that “It’s sad that the Gillum campaign would be disingenuous and misleading in their accounts of our debate negotiations. As the (Florida Democratic Party) noted, unlike the Republican field of candidates who are playing duck and cover, Democrats have accepted a number of debates and forums. We even accepted doing a Panhandle debate—one the Gillum campaign outright rejected. Our campaign has been in communication with Jacksonville University regarding their debate request, but given the stunt pulled this morning, it makes it harder to proceed in good faith.”