Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine both talked about their interest in running for governor and gave what were essentially campaign speeches in Orlando Friday but both stopped short of declaring anything.
Gillum and Levine were joined by Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran in addressing the Central Florida Urban League’s annual awards breakfast in Orlando. While no one declared any formal intentions to run for governor, the two Democratic probable rivals said they were exploring the prospect for 2018.
“I am strongly considering a run for governor,” Gillum said. “I will admit at the very beginning of this that my experience, and my upbringing, certainly do not suggest that I should be thinking about a run or dreaming about a run. But yet we’re here.”
Twenty minutes later, during his turn, Levine did not explicitly say he was considering running, but talked about it in a matter of “ifs.”
And speaking to FloridaPolitics.com, Levine said he was considering a run, but was not there yet.
To the Urban League, he spoke of minimum wages, creating a statewide entrepreneurial atmosphere, and making college affordable for anyone.
“If I decide to run, something that is going to be a key ingredient, a key focus and a mandate,” Levine said. “Because you can’t create entrepreneurialism, you can’t create a solid state unless you have everyone go to college and get an education.”
The Democrats could be looking at a crowded field. former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and Orlando lawyer John Morgan both also have said they are strongly considering runs, and other candidates appear to be positioning themselves.