71ºF

Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene late addition to Democratic governor's race

Greene joins crowded field of Democrats in upcoming primary

PALM BEACH, Fla. – The field of Democrats running for Florida governor just got bigger with the entrance of Palm Beach real estate billionaire Jeff Greene into the race.

Greene made good on hints that he would run by filing late Friday afternoon, adding a new dynamic and potentially millions of dollars to a race that includes former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando business executive Chris King.

The race is not the first for Greene, who spent almost $24 million in a failed run for Florida's U.S. Senate seat in 2010. He lost the Democratic primary to Kendrick Meek, who in turn lost the general election to Sen. Marco Rubio.

Greene took repeated criticism during his 2010 campaign for an image as a playboy and partier, with reports of liaisons with celebrities and debauchery about his yacht, Summerwind.

Forbes lists his net worth at almost $4 billion. Greene told a reporter from the Palm Beach Post last month he would "spend whatever it would take" if he were to enter the race for governor.

He has called himself a Palm Beach neighbor of President Donald Trump and reportedly is a member of Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club. 

Though Greene supported Hillary Clinton for president, he has been quoted as supporting Trump, especially in economic policy.

Greene also ran for Congress in 1982 in California, but as a Republican.

"As the son of a construction worker and bus driver, and still the only non-millionaire Democrat in our primary, I believe Florida Democrats need a true champion for working people as their nominee," Gillum said in a statement.

Levine's senior advisor also issued a statement saying, in part, that they're "laser-focused on our campaign's path to victory as we near the critical 50-day period before primary ballots drop."


About the Author: