Ziffer endorses Graham for 2018 gubernatorial election

Gwen Graham
Gwen Graham
Posted at 12:40 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 21:36:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Outgoing Tallahassee city commissioner Gil Ziffer has endorsed Gwen Graham for Florida governor, despite working alongside Andrew Gillum for years on the commission. 

Graham wrote on Twitter that she was "proud to stand with [Commissioner Gil Ziffer] in this fight."

According to a press release from Graham's team, Ziffer announced his "enthusiastic endorsement" of Graham Wednesday:

“Gwen Graham has a proven record of standing up for Florida families — as a local PTA volunteer, as a public school official, and representing us in Congress,” Ziffer said. “She also is a fierce defender of home rule and strongly supported local communities in their fight against Fracking in Florida. Gwen defeated an incumbent, NRA-endorsed, tea party Congressman and is a fighter who’s proven she can win the big battles. I am proud to offer her my most enthusiastic endorsement for governor.”

In the statement, Ziffer says politicians have "burdened" Tallahassee for 20 years by under-funding schools and attacking home rule, but says Graham "knows that local elected officials understand their communities best."

"As our representative, she worked for our city by providing grant support, economic development and more than $2.5 million returned to seniors, families and veterans,” Ziffer said. “As governor, she will defend Florida’s towns and cities from Pensacola to Key West, Tallahassee to Tampa.”

Geoff Burgan, Gillum's communications director, sent the following statement to WTXL ABC 27:

"Gwen Graham's a self-described "very conservative Democrat" and voted to weaken Dodd-Frank provisions, while Gil Ziffer voted against "Ban the Box" legislation in the City Commission and didn't back the Mayor's renewed push to fight the gun lobby following the shooting in Parkland. We never sought his endorsement, and would not have accepted given these strong policy differences."

Gillum is not without his fair share of endorsements as he has received at least 45 from both national and Florida leaders, to include Florida Rep. Ramon Alexander, Florida Rep. Loranne Ausley, and former Florida Democratic Party Chair and Tallahassee resident Alison Tant. 

Burgan notes that two of Graham's colleagues in Washington D.C., Rep. Alcee Hastings and Rep. Frederica Wilson, have also endorsed Gillum.

Ziffer is not the only local leader to publicly endorse Graham.

Leon County Commissioners John Dailey, Kristin Dozier and Leon Soil and Water Commissioner Tabitha Frazier have also endorsed the gubernatorial candidate.