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Billionaire Democrat's name surfaces in Florida governor chatter

via @adamsmithtimes

Add another potentially game-changing name to the prospective Democratic candidates for governor in 2018. Billionaire Palm Beach resident and former U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene.

"I've been approached by a lot of people, and I've had conversations with people that have approached me," said Greene, who lost the 2010 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate to Kendrick Meek after spending about $23 million of his own money.

Though we hear Greene has been talking to political consultants about a potential run, Greene downplayed his interest to The Tampa Bay Times and said he is not actively looking at it.

Greene said he is largely focused on his "Closing the Gap" conference set for April in Palm Beach. It will explore how to improve opportunities for all of society. Scheduled speakers include former British Prime Minister David Cameron, former Apple CEO John Sculley, columnist Thomas Friedman, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"It's certainly something that I haven't ruled out if it made sense," Greene said.

At this point likely Democratic candidates include Mayors Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee and Philip Levine of Miami Beach and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee. Others considering it include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Orlando businessman Chris King, and Orlando area attorney John Morgan.

--ADAM C. SMITH, Tampa Bay Times