The Phoenix Flyer

Democratic candidates for governor debate Thursday – last time before the primary election

By: - August 1, 2018 12:37 pm
The Democratic candidates for Florida governor

The five Democratic candidates for governor will debate Thursday night in West Palm Beach for the fifth and final time before the August 28 election. It will be televised live in the ten major media markets around the state at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (It will also be streamed online at

The most recent poll by Mason-Dixon released last week showed former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham leading the contest, with former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine trailing behind her by nine percentage points.

Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park businessman Chris King round out the field.

Meanwhile, the two Republicans running for governor: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, are scheduled to debate for the second and final time next Wednesday night (August 8) in Jacksonville, and it may be Putnam’s last chance to stop Desantis’ momentum.

DeSantis, who has been endorsed by President Trump in the GOP primary, has taken a double-digit lead over Putnam in a series of polls released over the past few weeks.

Florida Democratic Party chair Terrie Rizzo sniped at the Republican
governor’s candidates in a statement Wednesday:

“While Democrats have debated five times and focused on policies and ideas that will help everyday Floridians,” Rizzo said, “Republicans have debated only once, on Fox news, and focused on how they would help one person: Donald Trump.”

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.