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Mass shootings are a hot topic for Florida gubernatorial race, candidates respond differently

Posted: 8:25 PM, Aug 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-27 20:25:06-04

Florida's gubernatorial candidates flocked to Jacksonville one day before the primary elections, but each candidates response to the city's mass shooting depended greatly on their party. 

Former Congresswoman and Democratic candidate for Governor Gwen Graham was among several Democratic candidates in Jacksonville after the mass shooting at The Landing Sunday. 

"When I'm governor we're going to have a multi-prong approach to helping communities across the state of Florida deal with this issue," said Graham. 

Graham is calling on voters to "vote out the politicians complicit in this cycle of death." She took to twitter and boldly tweeted "I am tired of hearing thoughts and prayers from those who do nothing."

Democratic Candidate and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine echoed the message of new leadership. Businessman Chris King joined Jacksonville activists calling for action and Jeff Greene also made a campaign stop in Jacksonville Monday. 

"On the Democratic side there’s more a movement toward some gun control or some government regulation of guns," said WPTV Political Analyst Brian Crowley. 

Crowley said it's likely Republican candidates for governor will steer away from gun control.

"If you're a Republican, the hardcore voters are very pro second amendment so it's a really dangerous step for you to go off the second amendment and start talking about gun control," added Crowley.

Congressman Ron DeSantis and Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam thanked first responders and asked for prayers for the victims on Twitter. 

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said it's difficult to determine if the shooting will motivate more registered voters to cast their votes in the primary election, but it could have an influence on a new group of voters. 

"It's hard to determine the motivation. We hope it's because they want to exercise their democracy but what we do know is that we have an increase in young voter registrations. Florida saw an 8 percent increase in ages 18 to 25," said Bucher. 

Polls open at 7 a.m. Only voters registered with a party can vote in the primary election.