It should come as no surprise that Bob Graham, the Democratic former U.S. senator and governor, is supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest.
Graham spoke to a crowd of approximately 120 at the Longboat Key Democratic Club’s meeting Tuesday.
Graham joked about his upcoming 80th birthday and noted that club President Murray Bluegrass will be celebrating one as well.
And while he said he appreciated the applause, he said the two of them would happily accept cards or gifts.
Graham told the crowd that because they’ve been dedicated to supporting Clinton, the state of America has improved, but said their work isn’t finished.
He evoked the memory of Sidney J. Catts, a Democrat who won Florida’s 1916 Democratic nomination for governor until a recount was ordered. He came in second. After that, Catts formed the Prohibition Party and won the election. This example served to keep the focus on Clinton until the end of election night.
“Let’s don’t sit on our laurels until after the polls close on November the 8th,” he said.
Florida holds a powerful position as a swing state in the 2016 election, and Graham said Florida Democrats should look to California for inspiration on turning the state solidly blue. Only in the past 20 years has California has consistently voted for Democrats.
Following the speech, Graham signed copies of the book he wrote with Chris Hand, “America, the Owner’s Manual: Making Government Work for You.”
Graham has been visiting Longboat for more than 50 years and said he is impressed with how it continues to grow.
He also offered a bit of advice.
“As a citizen you have the capability to make changes, and the key is to be motivated and skilled in terms of how to do that and be persistent,” he said.