Primary voting is currently open and Florida’s candidates for governor are out touring the state trying to make a final push to win their party’s nomination.
Miami Beach Mayor, Democrat Philip Levine, stopped by the University of Central Florida yesterday to meet with supporters and encourage students to vote. Roughly 30-50 students and supporters attended Levine’s meet and greet.
Right now, Levine is in a fierce primary battle against fellow democrats US. Rep. Gwen Graham and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. According to a recent poll, Graham is leading the democrats with 27 percent of the vote, followed by Levine and Gillum with 25 and 21 percent respectively. Real Clear Politics has Graham as the frontrunner, ahead of Levine by 7.8 percent. The last day to vote in the primary is Tuesday Aug 28.
Knight News asked Levine for his opinion on several key issues that are important to UCF students. Find out what the candidate had to say about college affordability, marijuana, and the UCF national championship.
Q:What are your thoughts on free college?
A: I actually think it’s the right thing to do! What we are going to do with free college is, we’re going to have a program in Florida where basically if your parents can’t afford to send you to college, we’re going to send you to college debt free, if you agree to work in the state of Florida for a certain amount of years thereafter. I think that’s a program that will allow us to retain talent in our state and allow young people the opportunity who would not have the opportunity to go to one of our colleges or universities.
Q: What are your thoughts on UCF being a “sanctuary campus?”
A: Well I’m not so sure what a sanctuary campus is. The bottom line is the whole term of sanctuary cities was a term created by the republicans to divide us. To me, my belief on immigration is very clear, we are a tolerant state and we are a tolerant nation. We need fair federal immigration law. DACA, the dreamers must be given citizenship—it should have happened years ago. And the 11-12 million folks that are living in our country, barring criminal investigation and background checks, should be given a pathway to citizenship.
Q: As governor would you support the DACA students 100%?
A: I already have. But once again, I just don’t support them by verbal, we have actually contributed and have been actively involved in that conversation.
Q: What is your stance on marijuana?
A: Our policy on marijuana is very clear. Number 1, it’s not about what you’re going to do, it’s about what have you done. As the mayor of Miami Beach, we decriminalized marijuana on Miami Beach because we didn’t want to ruin people’s lives—folks that are going to college, in the military and folks who are going into great jobs. If I’m honored to be governor, number 1 we are going to make sure medicinal marijuana is available faster and quicker because it was approved multiple years ago. Number 2 I am in favor of the legalization of marijuana. I think it should be regulated and I think it should be taxed.
Q: Is UCF the real National Champions?
A: Yeah, (Laughs) As far as I’m concerned, every university in Florida is the champion.
Q: What are your thoughts on UCF’s upcoming football season? Do you think we repeat and go undefeated?
A: I have to tell you something, I haven’t followed it that closely. I try to be very honest with all my answers. And as I tell everybody, I love all the colleges in Florida, but my heart is with University of Michigan Football.