Elections

Hillary Clinton rolls out Florida support

Hillary Clinton smiles as she takes the stage during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday in Iowa.
Hillary Clinton smiles as she takes the stage during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday in Iowa. AP

Hillary Clinton has lined up more than 150 elected officials and community leaders in Florida to promote her 2016 presidential candidacy.

Her campaign said late Monday it has launched a “Florida Leadership Council” to organize events and volunteers ahead of the March 15 state primary. The group includes U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the only Democrat elected statewide, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, a longtime Clinton friend.

“When it comes to Florida’s cities, and the challenges they face, Hillary Clinton is the best candidate equipped to tackle and move them forward,” Levine said in a statement. “Clinton gets it, and will make a fundamental difference for every city in America.”

Clinton’s state support includes Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant as well as every Florida Democratic member of Congress except Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, and Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee. Her father, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, is on Clinton’s list.

So are eight state senators and 28 state representatives, and the mayors of Tampa and Orlando and, in South Florida, of North Miami, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Hallandale Beach, Weston and Wilton Manors. Clinton’s team also includes county commissioners, school board members, city council members, former elected officials, activists and fundraisers.

“I have known Hillary for decades, dating back to her time with the Children’s Defense Fund,” U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Delray Beach said in a statement. “In this capacity, I came to know her as a smart and driven advocate, whose thoughtfulness and deliberation helped to advance justice and the rule of law in a time when African Americans and women struggled daily to attain the freedom and equality enshrined in our constitution.”

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