Nan Rich and Betty Castor: Phillip Levine Won’t Win The Democratic Nomination by Attacking Women 

Broward County Commissioner and Former Democratic Senate Leader Nan Rich welcomed Philip Levine to Ft. Lauderdale today by calling out statements he lobbed at Gwen Graham on Thursday.

“If Philip Levine thinks he can win by insulting women, he’s running in the wrong primary. He couldn’t go two days on his first statewide tour as a candidate without attacking Gwen with false claims,” Rich said. “Saying that a woman is only able to run for office because of the men in her life is straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook. Gwen is a tireless worker who earns her way in everything she does. She’s going to win this race, just like she won her Congressional race, by outworking all of her opponents.”

Already in hot water over statements he made in Tallahassee about Graham’s work history, Levine doubled down on a Tampa radio station yesterday by invoking the Graham family name in an attack and falsely claiming she didn’t campaign for Hillary Clinton.

“Not only did Gwen Graham campaign for Hillary Clinton across the state of Florida, while maintaining a full-time job representing us in Congress, she got out and knocked on doors for candidates up and down the ballot,” Rich, who ran for governor in 2014 said. “Florida Democrats know you win elections by running on our values, not by demeaning your fellow Floridians.”

FLASHBACK: At a rally for Hillary Clinton with Gwen Graham, “[Vice President Joe] Biden predicted U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, a Democrat from Tallahassee, would be the state’s next governor.”

“Gwen Graham doesn’t judge people based on how much money they make or the job they hold. She’s focused on reaching out to every Floridian and fighting on behalf of the issues that matter to them: restoring our promise to public schools, protecting our clean water, building an economy that works for everyone, and ensuring access to quality health care,” Rich said.

Betty Castor issued the following statement and endorsement of Graham for governor:

“Philip Levine can lecture women on what it means to have a job and ‘do something’ with your life after he raises three children while volunteering at their schools and working 50 hours a week. Not only does Levine not have the facts straight, his view that motherhood is anything less than a full-time job is exactly the kind of tone-deaf attitude we already see out of too many politicians in DC and Tallahassee. Real Floridians know you don’t have to be a CEO or sell a company to contribute to your community. Working mothers, PTA presidents, teachers and public school officials perform some of the most important jobs in our state.”

“At a moment defined by Donald Trump’s non-stop bullying and bragging, it’s especially disappointing to hear a Democrat doing the same thing. A governor shouldn’t make like he’s better than Floridians; she should make life better for Floridians.”

Betty Castor is a former teacher, president of the University of South Florida, and a working mother. She became the first woman to serve in Florida’s Cabinet when she was elected education commissioner in 1986.

“Now more than ever, we need a working mom to clean up the mess that 20 years of Republican-rule has made in Tallahassee,” Castor said. “I have known Gwen almost all of her life. Her experiences as a working mother have uniquely prepared her for this moment in our state’s history. Who better than a working mom to restore our promise to public schools, protect the clean water our children drink and fight for every single Floridian, not the rich and powerful. And, that’s why Gwen’s next job will be in the Governor’s Office.”


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Leon Aprile is a pseudonym for different freelance writers that submit articles to OPO.

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