Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham has secured the endorsement of Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay in the closing weeks before the Aug. 28 primary, her campaign announced Thursday.

McKinlay’s endorsement is a grab from the home of Graham’s rival Democratic candidate Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene, with whom Graham has been trading nasty shots in the past couple of weeks over each other’s environmental protection commitments.

It’s also another woman political leader joining a Graham campaign that has not shied from gender references in anticipation of a large female voter turnout, something Greene also has sought to appeal to with his “For Women” commercial that has blanketed Florida airwaves the past two weeks.

“As a mom, I am excited to have a fellow mom in the Governor’s office,” McKinlay stated in a news release issued Thursday morning by Graham’s campaign. “Gwen’s life experiences have made her a strong leader and a master negotiator. She is committed to bridging the divide in our politics and our government. It is time we have a leader in the Governor’s office who truly understands what Florida families need and will work for us every single day. That leader is Gwen Graham.”

Graham and Greene also face former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Winter Park businessman Chris King in the Aug. 28 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

McKinlay, elected to the Palm Beach Board of County Commissioners in 2014, has been an outspoken leader in the fight to combat opioid abuse, provide more affordable housing, and protect the environment, Graham’s campaign stated.

“Gwen understands the challenges facing South Florida. She will fight every day to restore our public schools and protect Palm Beach County’s natural treasures,” McKinlay added.

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