Kriseman Condemns Negative Attack Ads in Gubernatorial Race
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and other Tampa Bay political leaders criticized ads that attack Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham.
TAMPA BAY – St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is condemning negative attacks from the Collective, a secret money Super PAC, which launched ads against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham in the Tampa Bay region today (June 21).
“It is disappointing to see an out-of-state secret money Super PAC come into our city and attack a fellow progressive Democrat,” Kriseman said. “After 20 years of one-party Republican rule in Tallahassee and with Donald Trump in the White House, Democrats must stand as a united front to win back our state in November.”
Kriseman branded the ads, which charge that Graham is a not a true progressive, as “false.” The ads are funded by the Collective, a super PAC that supports Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, another Democrat running for governor.
Last year, under Kriseman’s leadership, St. Petersburg became the first city in America to limit Super PAC involvement in their elections.
“St. Petersburg Democrats will reject smear campaigns. They want something to vote for — not against,” Kriseman said. “We have many strong candidates running in this Democratic primary and we won’t win back our state by using dirty Republican tricks and tactics. We must be better than them and show Florida voters a new path forward to end the status quo in Tallahassee.”
Kriseman was not the only Tampa Bay official to condemn the ads.
Graham’s campaign sent out a press release in which Democrats in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties called on Gillum to disclose who is paying for “his secret money attacks against Gwen Graham” and demanding he stop the negative ads.
“Here we go again – another false attack ad funded by secret money. Florida is notorious for its weak campaign finance laws, but at least it tips a hat to voters’ right to follow the money to learn who is paying for ads. Genuinely progressive Democrats find it disgusting that anyone would be complicit in a money trail cover up to avoid disclosing who is funneling secret money through a Super PAC. Voters won’t even know whether this is a Republican-orchestrated attack on Gwen Graham, the Democratic candidate best poised to end 20-years of one-party rule in November,” Democratic National Committee member and former Florida Democratic Party Treasurer Alma Gonzalez said.
“Mayor Gillum, the intended beneficiary of the attacks, should not just talk the talk of a true progressive who cares about transparency, he should shudder at this ‘throw the rock and hide your hand’ tactic, and immediately demand the disclosure of who is paying for these false, secret money Super PAC attacks. Anything less than that is politics-as-usual at its worst,” Gonzalez said.
Politico reported that the Collective super PAC is funded by secret sources and will not reveal who is paying for the attacks against Graham.
“These attack ads are false and Andrew Gillum knows it. He needs to take responsibility for his attack ads instead of taking secret money and hiding behind a Super PAC,” former Congressman Jim Davis said. “Florida’s weak campaign finance laws don’t bar coordination. Andrew should pick up the phone today and ask his super PAC to run positive ads in support of his own campaign instead of falsely tearing down Gwen Graham.”
Hillsborough Clerk Pat Frank said, “I’ve been in public office in Hillsborough County for over 35 years and I’ve seen a lot of campaigns run over the years. I’ve watched some candidates run on negative platforms and some run on positive ones. People who are desperate to win begin choosing to run negative campaigns mostly because their record doesn’t stand on its own. And most negative campaigns backfire. Not only does the candidate lose but they look bad in the long run. The voters are smart. They realize that if a candidate has a lot to offer they don’t need to run a negative campaign.”
“Gwen Graham is a positive person, running on a positive campaign. Her father Bob Graham is a former governor for the State of Florida. Bob still has a very positive reputation. Gwen Graham grew up learning from her father how to succeed in life as a positive person. We are currently living in an era of negativity in this country. Today we need someone who is positive and proactive for our state. Someone who can bring people together not divide them. Gwen Graham is that person,” Frank said.
For information about Graham, go to gwengraham.com.
For information about Gillum, go to andrewgillum.com.
Gwen Graham | Andrew Gillum | Rick Kriseman | Politics | Elections | Tampabay News
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