By: Associated Press
November 2, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Major contenders running for Florida governor are getting a chance to give their campaign pitches to reporters and editors from across the state.
The Associated Press is holding its annual pre-session planning day on Thursday at the Capitol. The session starts in January.
Three Democrats and two Republicans running for governor in 2018 are scheduled to appear. Governor Rick Scott is leaving office in early 2019 due to term limits.
The Democrats who will appear are Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and Orlando-area businessman Chris King. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine jumped into the race Wednesday but could not attend due to scheduling conflicts.
The Republicans scheduled to speak are Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and State Sen. Jack Latvala.
Some of Florida's top legislators will also be at the planning day to outline their priorities for the upcoming session.
Senate President Joe Negron and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues are scheduled to appear. Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon and State Rep. Evan Jenne will also speak.
Legislators are expected to grapple with a tight budget in the coming year and deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The Legislature may authorize the creation of a gasoline reserve and require nursing homes to have backup power.
Republicans have controlled the Florida Legislature for more than 20 years.