After one term in Congress, Gwen Graham is not seeking a second one thanks, in large part, to the latest round of redistricting making her base far more friendly to Republicans.
Graham’s plans for 2018 are already creating speculation with many assuming she will run for governor or, less likely, the U.S. Senate if Bill Nelson decides to forego a fourth term. Either way, Graham would be following in her father’s footsteps. Bob Graham served two terms as governor before being elected to the Senate in 1986 and serving three terms there.
While she’s not on the ballot in 2016, the younger Graham has been fairly active on the campaign trail, helping Democrats ranging from Hillary Clinton and Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy to throwing her support to state Senate candidates like Rod Smith.
Last week, Graham turned her focus against Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, hitting his stances on the environment.
“From the Apalachicola Bay here in North Florida to the Everglades, our state faces unique and serious environmental challenges,” Graham insisted. “We need our next president to make responsible decisions that will protect our natural resources for generations to come.
“But when it comes to protecting our environment, Donald Trump is clueless,” Graham added. “He believes that climate change is a ‘Chinese Hoax.’ And just last night, he proposed an out-of-touch policy that will do nothing to protect the Everglades. Donald Trump puts our natural resources and our environment in danger.”
Graham’s increasingly focused on the environment as she tries to keep her name in the mix for higher office, admittedly something that’s far easier to do when in office than on the sidelines. Earlier this month, Graham spoke in Ocala and took aim at Rick Scott’s environmental policies, something she did all of last month as well.
The environment was an issue that helped her father become one of the leading actors in Florida political history, one of the few governors who successfully made the jump to the U.S. Senate. For what it’s worth, he is showing no signs of heading to the sidelines any time soon. The elder Graham was one of the first to call for suing the Saudis for 9/11 and has been taking a victory lap after Congress overrode President Barack Obama’s veto.
That’s a not big thing for the retiring congresswoman. More than a decade after he left office, Bob Graham remains pretty popular in the Sunshine State. Expect to see more of both the Grahams in the months to come as she readies for 2018.