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First Coast

Republicans Cancel Campaign Events In Jacksonville; Democrats Plan More

Lindsey Kilbride
Police cordon off an area near the Jacksonville Landing on Sunday.

Within hours of the mass shooting that took two lives and injured nine others before the gunman killed himself at the Jacksonville Landing Sunday afternoon, Republican candidates for Florida governor Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis had canceled campaign stops scheduled for Monday in Jacksonville.

Putnam tweeted Sunday afternoon,  “Tomorrow’s campaign event in Jacksonville has been cancelled. Our prayers continue to be with the victims and their families. Please cooperate with local law enforcement and do not hesitate to be helpful in your community any way you can.”

The DeSantis campaign sent out a similar note to attendees of Monday’s scheduled appearance at a San Marco restaurant: “Due to today’s tragic shooting in Jacksonville, the previously scheduled DeSantis campaign stop for tomorrow in Jacksonville has been cancelled. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the entire Jacksonville community at this time.”

At the same time, Democrats Chris King, Gwen Graham and Jeff Greene are still scheduled to appear to try to rally voters a day ahead of Florida’s primary elections.

Greene, a billionaire businessman from Palm Beach County, is set to host an ice cream social at the Oceanway Community Center at 12215 Sago Ave. W, Jacksonville, FL 32218, at 12:30 p.m. In an email to WJCT News, the Greene campaign said, “In the wake of yesterday's tragic shooting in Jacksonville, he will speak out against gun violence and discuss commonsense gun control measures.”

Gwen Graham, the former North Florida congresswoman and only woman among the major candidates for Florida governor, is speaking at 9:30 Monday in a “community conversation on gun violence” at Uptown Kitchen in Springfield. She’s also set to appear at 11 a.m. at the Mary Singleton Senior Center.

Chris King, an Orlando businessman, on Sunday evening announced he’ll also be in Jacksonville. King is hosting a press conference with “gun violence activists” outside Jacksonville City Hall at noon.

Democrat Andrew Gillum’s surrogate, CNN commentator Angela Rye, will lead a Be the Vote rally at the historically black Edward Waters College Monday at noon.

And Democrat Philip Levine, the former Miami Beach mayor, tweeted on Sunday: “Twitter doesn’t allow me to voice my feelings fully on this tragedy. I am horrified and I am furious. The shootings are too many to count—in our schools, neighborhoods and nightclubs. Too many lives are destroyed, while leaders take no action. It's time for new leaders.”