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