Word has it that others were invited but only one candidate or potential candidate, Democrat Chris King, showed up at the Florida Legislative Black Caucus’s symposium Thursday to talk about the 2018 gubernatorial race.

King tweeted such Thursday, “Honored to talk w/the great leaders at the @FLBlackCaucus Gubernatorial Symposium about how to make our future better than our past.”

He is the Winter Park businessman who filed in late February but didn’t formally kick off his campaign until Tuesday night.

The other announced Democrat so far is Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, while Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee and attorney John Morgan of Orlando are all openly contemplating runs, and even doing some pre-campaigning. For the Republicans, State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is unannounced but raising big money for a run.

“He’s here. Showing up is half the battle,” caucus chair state Sen. Perry Thurston. “I want to thank him for showing up, thank him for being here.”

Self-described political junkie Ella K. Coffee attended, and tweeted out a few details of King’s comments:

“I will be A CHAMPION FOR HOME GROWN BUSINESSES”

“We have to stop raiding our affordable home fund in the state.”

“When a person hasn’t had their rights restored, it’s not just about that, it’s about being able to support their family.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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