With three weeks to go until the primary, two of the top contenders running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination exchanged fire on Tuesday.
Billionaire Jeff Greene came out swinging at former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., noting that her family allowed the American Dream MegaMall and theme park to be built on land they own. Greene insisted this development would hurt the Everglades.
“These are the facts: Gwen Graham’s land is being used to develop a monstrosity that puts the Everglades in danger. Every environmental group in Florida is in visceral opposition to the American Dream MegaMall,” says Greene. “If she is committed to fighting for the Everglades and being an environmental leader, she shouldn’t allow this development to happen. Gwen Graham is running for governor. She can’t do one thing and say another.”
Greene conceded on Tuesday that former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., the father of the gubernatorial candidate, had an excellent record. “But Gwen Graham is no Bob Graham,” Greene insisted.
Greene also slammed Gwen Graham for supporting the Keystone XL pipeline and voting to roll Dodd-Frank and former President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law. He also attempted to connect her record to the American Dream development.
“Instead of doubling down on her poor track record, it’s time for Gwen Graham to admit she was wrong and to call on her family to end this atrocious abuse of the Everglades,” Greene added.
Graham fired back on Tuesday, noting that she had the support of the Everglades Trust and showcasing a new ad in which she punches back at Greene.
“A billionaire opponent is attacking me personally – even falsely attacking my dad, Bob Graham,” Graham says in the ad. “It’s disappointing. Because the truth is I’ve been endorsed by respected environmentalists, including the Everglades Trust. And after twenty years of Republican rule, false negative ads won’t do anything to repair our environment, health care or public schools.”
Graham’s camp also hit Greene’s investments, claiming he “is refusing to disclose how much stock he owns in oil companies that are trying to drill off Florida’s beaches or gas companies fracking across the country.”
Polls have Graham ahead of the Democratic field with three weeks to go with Greene battling former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine for second. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Chris King are also running for the Democratic nomination.