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 spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.