Bill Nelson to endorse Gwen Graham for Congress

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U.S. Senator Bill Nelson today will endorse Gwen Graham in her bid to capture the 2nd Congressional District for the Democrats. Nelson joined Graham Wednesday in Panama City as Graham wrapped up an eight-day 14-county campaign swing through the district.

“Senator Nelson has proven himself as a public servant who always keeps the interest of the people of Florida at heart and isn’t afraid to work hard to get things done. That’s the North Florida Way that I will fight for in Washington, and I am honored to have his help in this race,” said Graham.

Nelson was the special guest at Panama City barbecue Graham hosted for supporters. It was the third cook out the campaign held during eight days of events designed to cut in Southerland’s support in rural north Florida counties.  The swing was dubbed Grillin with the Grahams and featured family members alongside the candidate as she introduced herself to voters.

First elected in 2010, Southerland won reelection two years ago by posting supermajority victories in Calhoun (68-percent), Gulf (71 percent) Holmes (80 percent), Washington (72 percent) and his home county of Bay with 73 percent of the vote.

For much of the swing, Graham was accompanied by her father, former Senator and Gov. Bob Graham, who in his career won five consecutive state-wide elections. The two Grahams participated in a work day Wednesday at the St. Andrews Bay Resource Management Association before the cook out.

Democrats think Graham can flip the district to the Democratic column. The Cook Report considers the race a tossup and Roll Call lists Southerland among the 10 most-endangered incumbents.

The Panama City News Herald has called on Graham and Southerland to hold a debate to help voters decide whom to support.

The list of issues the paper said is important to the district includes the economy, fisheries, energy policy, fisheries, and immigration and government regulations.