New Gra­ham ad fo­cuses on Park­land,, Pulse, gun safety

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - LOCAL - By Steve Le­mon­gello Staff writer

Gwen Gra­ham’s new ad in the Florida gover­nor’s race fo­cuses on Repub­li­cans and the “gun lobby” in the wake of the Park­land shoot­ing and her re­ac­tion as a par­ent of three.

“What hap­pened at Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas is ev­ery par­ent’s worst night­mare,” says Gra­ham in the video, en­ti­tled “It’s Time.”

“My heart breaks as a mom,” she says. “That’s how this is­sue res­onates with me, not as some­one run­ning for of­fice, but as a mom that never wants any par­ent to face what those par­ents faced. Time af­ter time af­ter time we have done noth­ing in the face of these hor­rific tragedies. This time will be dif­fer­ent. This time must be dif­fer­ent.”

Gra­ham, the for­mer Demo­cratic U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Tal­la­has­see, also specif­i­cally called out Gov. Rick Scott, Repub­li­cans and the NRA.

“The gun lobby bears a sig­nif­i­cant re­spon­si­bil­ity but ul­ti­mately it's the Repub­li­cans in the Leg­is­la­ture that are al­low­ing these pieces of leg­is­la­tion to go through and the gover­nor for sign­ing them,” Gra­ham said.

“It’s time we take com­mon sense gun safety steps, that even if they pre­vent one death — one death — it’s worth it.”

She also called for the end of the NRA’s in­flu­ence in Florida, stat­ing that in her run for Congress in 2014,

“They put al­most $300,000 into his cam­paign to beat me — and they lost,” she says. “And they will lose again when I’m gover­nor.”

Gra­ham has also been en­dorsed as a “Gun Sense Can­di­date” by the gun safety group Moms De­mand Ac­tion ear­lier this month. If elected gover­nor, she’s pledged to “sus­pend AR-15 sales, ban as­sault weapons and high-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines, and strengthen the back­ground check sys­tem so that it is truly ef­fec­tive and uni­ver­sal,” her cam­paign said in a state­ment.

As a con­gress­woman, Gra­ham voted to reg­u­late ar­mor-pierc­ing am­mu­ni­tion and she cospon­sored a bill to re­quire back­ground checks and close the loop­hole al­low­ing sus­pected ter­ror­ists list to buy on the no-fly weapons.

But her op­po­nents in the Au­gust Demo­cratic pri­mary, Win­ter Park busi­ness­man Chris King and Tal­la­has­see Mayor An­drew Gwen Gra­ham, gu­ber­na­to­rial

Gil­lum, and for­mer Mi­ami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, have of­ten crit­i­cized Gra­ham for what Gil­lum’s cam­paign called an “elec­tion year con­ver­sion” on guns.

Gra­ham did not orig­i­nally call for an as­sault weapons ban in her gun safety pro­posal an­nounced af­ter the Pulse an­niver­sary in 2017, when Gil­lum’s team high­lighted Gra­ham’s 2014 state­ment to NewsChan­nel 7-WJHG – while run­ning in a more con­ser­va­tive Pan­han­dle district – that “I cer­tainly sup­port the sec­ond amend­ment and I don't think that any law-abid­ing cit­i­zen should have any gun that they choose to have taken away from them.”

“It would have been nice for her to sup­port his fight when she was a sit­ting Mem­ber of Congress,” said Gil­lum spokesman Ge­off Bur­gan in March. “Democrats can't trust her on this is­sue, while the mayor's con­sis­tently fought for gun safety."

King said in March that Gra­ham “is a good per­son, but in my view [she] has not demon­strated a record that is pas­sion­ate about elim­i­nat­ing weapons of war from our streets. In Congress, Con­gress­woman Gra­ham never sup­ported an as­sault weapons ban.”

Chris­tian Ulvert, a se­nior ad­vi­sor to Levine, said Levine has al­ready launched a se­ries of ads call­ing for gun re­form, say­ing his call to ban as­sault ri­fles “has been can­di­date

clear, in­clud­ing af­ter tragic Pulse shoot­ing.

His po­si­tion isn’t new and re­flects how as a par­ent, he is ready to lead on the is­sue of gun vi­o­lence, one that tears too many fam­i­lies apart.”

Gra­ham and Levine were neck and neck in a Ma­son-Dixon poll from Fe­bru­ary and a PPP poll from March, though a PPP poll from April 12 had Levine with a six-point lead. A March 20 Gravis poll had Gra­ham in third be­hind Levine and Gil­lum. the


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