- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on Florida governor candidates speaking to the state’s mayors (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine compared the Legislature’s control over the state’s cities to the control the Kremlin had over the Soviet Union before it fell.

The former Miami Beach mayor told the Florida League of Mayors on Wednesday that like the other Democratic candidates, he supports rescinding laws passed by the Republican Legislature that restrict cities from enacting ordinances governing guns and plastic containers or increasing the minimum wage.

He pointed to the battle Miami Beach has had trying to restrict Airbnb and other home sharing businesses over Tallahassee objection. He said what works in Pensacola does not work in Miami Beach and both should be allowed to make their own decisions.

Three other Democratic candidates said they also support returning power to cities: businessman Jeff Greene, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Democrat Chris King and Republicans Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis had scheduling conflicts.

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5 p.m.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum told his fellow state mayors that they should be allowed to enact ordinances restricting guns and other subjects.

The Tallahassee mayor told the Florida League of Mayors on Wednesday about how his city was sued because it refused to repeal an ordinance banning the firing of guns in its parks. The Republican Legislature enacted a law barring cities from having ordinances on guns and enacted fines and the threat of removal on mayors whose cities have them. He also criticized laws that bar cities from regulating numerous other subjects including plastic containers or enacting a minimum wage.

He said this should be a bipartisan issue as everyone should want their cities to reflect local values.

Two other Democratic candidates, Jeff Greene and Gwen Graham, also said they support home rule. Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was also scheduled to speak. Democrat Chris King and Republicans Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis had scheduling conflicts.

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4:10 p.m.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham told the state’s mayors that the Republican-dominated government is being “hypocritical” by barring cities from passing certain ordinances.

The former congresswoman told the told the Florida League of Mayors on Wednesday that Republicans often say they support the “government that is closest to the people” but they don’t. She said the Republicans have controlled state government for 20 years and have barred cities from regulating numerous subjects, including guns and plastic containers, or enacting a minimum wage. She also said she will give them and school districts enough money to fund the school security program the state imposed after February’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.

Democrat Jeff Greene earlier told the crowd he also supports giving cities more power. Two other Democratic candidates are speaking later: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. Democrat Chris King and Republicans Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis had scheduling conflicts.

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3:40 p.m.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene told the state’s mayors that he supports local rule and increasing state funding for school security.

Greene told the Florida League of Mayors on Wednesday that “the best decisions are made at the city level.” He said the Legislature and governor should stop restricting cities’ powers and give them and school districts enough money to fund the school security program imposed after February’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.

Greene is a billionaire developer from Palm Beach. He has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump during his campaign, but is also a former member of the president’s Mar-a-Lago Club.

Three other Democratic candidates are speaking Wednesday: former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. Democrat Chris King and Republicans Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis had scheduling conflicts.

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5:30 a.m.

Four Democratic candidates for Florida governor are scheduled to speak at a state convention for mayors.

The Florida League of Mayors is hosting a town hall Wednesday in Hollywood. The group says it invited all seven major Republican and Democratic candidates and four accepted as of Tuesday. They are former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and businessman Jeff Greene. Each will be given 15 minutes to speak to the mayors and then take questions.

A spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis said the candidate has a scheduling conflict. The campaigns of Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Democratic businessman Chris King did not respond to inquiries on Tuesday.


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