Only 1 Democratic candidate shows up to Tampa NAACP forum


The Hillsborough County branch of the NAACP gave about 200 people an opportunity to hear from the Democratic gubernatorial candidates this weekend, but only one of them showed up.

On Saturday morning, the Hillsborough NAACP hosted a Governor’s Candidates Political Forum at Middleton High School in Tampa.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the only candidate who appeared at the forum. For various reasons, none of the others showed up.

In a video shared to the NAACP Hillsborough Facebook page, President Yvette Lewis stands in front of the crowd and tells them there was a bit of a “hiccup.” She says she met with every candidate two weeks ago about the forum, but claims they started backing out earlier this week.

Lewis told News Channel 8 she’s disappointed and feels the candidates take the African-American community for granted. She also said this was a missed opportunity for the candidates to reach voters.

Gillum later tweeted that it was great to be at the forum. “We don’t have a private jet, but I guess I was the only one of my opponents who could beat the I-4 traffic to make it,” he said.

According to her Facebook page, candidate Gwen Graham was on a South Florida Early Vote School Bus Tour in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade on Saturday.

Candidate Chris King tweeted about appearances in Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach and Melbourne.

Mayor Philip Levine posted tweets about meeting voters in Liberty City, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Miramar, Sarasota and St. Petersburg. He later tweeted about attending the Hillsborough County Democratic Party’s Kennedy King dinner.

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