May 17, 2017 Press Release

Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Endorses Gwen Graham

The things we care about most — from preserving our voting rights and access to health care, to protecting our environment and holding Wall Street accountable — are under attack like never before.

Only one Democrat for Governor of Florida —my good friend Gwen Graham — has the passion and commitment, the track record and the leadership skills to stand up, speak out, protect our priorities, and get things done.

Gwen is a champion for the progressive values so many of us share, and I am proud to give Gwen Graham my strongest endorsement for Governor of Florida.

Congressman John Lewis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis is endorsing Gwen Graham in her bid to become Florida’s next governor.

Congressman Lewis’s endorsement comes on the 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Give Us the Ballot” speech, in which King called for voting rights for African Americans. Counter to King’s message, Republicans in Florida have waged a vigorous campaign to restrict voting rights in the state.

Florida has some of the strictest laws preventing ex-felons from voting and Rick Scott’s administration was found to have violated federal law by purging voter rolls in 2012. In Florida, 10 percent of adults, and one in five African Americans, are unable to vote because of systematic disenfranchisement.

“Congressman John Lewis’s support and friendship mean the world to me. Marching with him to mark the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, sitting in with him to demand commonsense gun reform, and fighting for voting rights with him are among my proudest moments while representing Florida in Congress,” Graham said. “As governor, I will expand voting rights, pass gun reform to make our cities and streets safer and create opportunities for all Floridians.”

In Congress, Graham marched with Congressman Lewis and President Barack Obama across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, joined him for the House Democrats sit-in to demand commonsense gun safety and co-sponsored legislation to protect voting rights.