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MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – It’s already June, which means elections are less than five months away.
Candidates for both parties are gearing up for primaries in Florida’s gubernatorial race.
On Monday, four Democratic candidates for governor debated in Miramar.
A friendly crowd of activists was on hand, a group that’s being called the Freedom Four.
It consisted of Immigration Advocates, Dreamers, Planned Parenthood and the Service Workers Union.
They heard from Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine and Winter Park businessman Chris King.
Organizers of the debate hoped the invited candidates would address issues facing Florida’s poor and working communities, such as low-cost health care and fair wages.
“Our union wants fairness for working people,” said Dale Ewart with the Service Employees International Union. “Not just on the job but in the communities we live in and neighborhoods. We want progressive policy on social justice. We want the environment cleaned up and we want progress in this state for working people.”
The 2-hour plus debate at Miramar Cultural Center showed that there is not much difference between the candidates.
They agreed that Donald Trump is “bad for the country,” that Governor Rick Scott has “trashed the state,” and the state legislature has been in “bed with big sugar and the NRA.”
Here’s what the candidates had to say on gun control issues:
“We need much investment in mental health care. Florida is at the very bottom on health care in our state,” Graham said
“Stand your ground has no place in the state Florida and we ought to repeal it,” Gillum added.
Levine said, “We will ban assault rifles in the state of Florida. We will be sure to have better background checks.”
“I am from Orlando and 49 people died two years ago. And nothing changed. No laws changed. No laws changed my inspiration to run for governor,” King said.
“No matter who, of the four on this stage tonight wins, it will better than what we have,” Levine said.