Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham announced the endorsements of three key women Democratic lawmakers Friday afternoon.
The former congresswoman has picked up the endorsements of state Reps. Amy Mercado of Orlando, Barbara Watson of Miami Gardens, and Lori Berman of Lantana.
Graham is campaigning against fellow Democrats Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park affordable housing developer Chris King, striving for the 2018 primary nomination for governor.
Mercado, vice chair of the House Progressive Caucus, said in a news release issued by Graham’s campaign that the congresswoman “stood up for our shared values in Washington.”
“She voted to defend Obamacare, co-sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage, and worked to protect Florida’s environment,” Mercado continued. “She has the courage to fight for our priorities and the experience to get things done.”
Watson, of Miami Gardens, said she was impressed when Graham spent a work day two weeks ago teaching and serving lunch at Carol City Senior High in her district.
“It showed me she cares about every student, regardless of their zip code or background. After years of Republican attacks on our public education system, we need a governor who will end high-stakes testing and the current system of demoralizing school grades,” Watson said in the release.
Berman, who sponsored legislation supporting the Equal Rights Amendment in Florida, cited Graham’s grasp of issues facing Florida women.
“She knows that women should get equal pay for equal work. She knows that women can be trusted to make their own decisions,” Berman stated in the release. “I look forward to partnering with Gwen, as Florida’s next governor, in fighting for policies that help Florida’s women and further our values.”
Graham called the trio great people and great friends.
“They’re fighting every day against the education industry that degrades our schools and the Tallahassee insiders who do nothing to help middle-class folks but don’t hesitate to threaten our water and land with fracking,” Graham stated in the release. “I’m so proud they are standing with me – together, we are going to fully fund our schools, protect our water and natural resources and have a real economic plan that creates real jobs.”