Gwen Graham’s bet that her dad, former Gov. Bob Graham, would be an asset on the campaign trail through north Florida appears to be paying off. Graham has outraised incumbent Congressman Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, in what has become a surprising close race for the 2 nd Congressional District.
Graham, candidate and dad, have barnstormed the 14-county district throughout the summer talking about “north Florida values” and has brought what was a Republican-leaning race to a tossup and now Politico ranks Southerland as one of the five most endangered incumbents.
“We’ve known all along this was a competitive district and, by extension, a competitive race. But Steve continues to receive very positive feedback across the district because voters know this races down to which candidate represent their values,” said Matt McCullough, Southerland’s communication director.
“And a pro-Obamacare, anti-fishing, former D.C. lobbyist like Gwen Graham certainty doesn’t represent our values,” said McCullough.
Though Graham has raised more money than Southerland they head into the fall campaign with roughly the same amount of money on hand, according to federal finance reports. Southerland won reelection in 2012 with 52 percent of the vote.
When asked for a comment about the Politico ranking the Graham campaign said it will let “the ranking speak for itself.”