Gwen Graham appears ready to make it official.
The former Democratic congresswoman from Tallahassee is expected to announce her 2018 gubernatorial bid Tuesday. The announcement will make Graham, the daughter of former governor and Sen. Bob Graham, the Democrat to enter the race to replace Gov. Rick Scott.
Graham’s entry has long been expected.
When she announced she wouldn’t run for re-election in 2016, Graham told supporters in a video announcement that she was “seriously considering running for governor in 2018.”
Since then she has dropped plenty of hints about her plan, even saying she would be poised to run a 67-county strategy. And she’s been slowly building the framework, traveling the state meeting with Democratic clubs and chatting with voters about their priorities.
In February, she launched Our Florida, a state political committee expected to fund her 2018 gubernatorial run, and transferred $250,000 from her congressional coffers to the state committee.
Charing the committee is Stephanie Toothaker, an attorney with Tripp Scott who served as special counsel to her father.
The Democratic field is becoming more crowded by the minute. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Chris King have already announced their runs, while Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Orlando attorney John Morgan are still considering a run.
While big name Republicans haven’t thrown their hat in the race yet, the GOP primary is expected to be just as heated. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is widely expected to run, and a barbecue scheduled for May 10, just days after the scheduled end of the 2017 Legislative Session, has many wondering if his announcement will be coming soon.
Both Sen. Jack Latvala and Speaker Richard Corcoran are also believed to be considering their options.