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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King drops anti-Sugar commercial


Philip Levine finally has company on TV.

Chris King, a Winter Park businessman who’s spent the last 13 months grinding out a campaign for governor, begins airing a commercial Wednesday in five of the state’s 10 media markets. The ad highlights King’s position against Big Sugar campaign contributions – a stance subsequently adopted by Democratic rivals Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, and Levine.

The ad also touts King’s proposals to expand Medicaid, fund affordable housing and eliminate tuition for community college and public trade school.

“I’ll take Florida in a new direction by expanding Medicaid to cover the uninsured, protecting funding for affordable housing, and expanding community college and trade school programs that lead to good jobs,” King says in the ad. “If you want new leadership and fresh ideas, I’m ready to fight for you.”

King’s campaign doesn’t say how much he’s spending on the ad buy (Politico reports it's at least $820,000) which is funded out of his official campaign account. But roughly 100 days out from the primaries, they’re hoping that the commercial will boost his polling numbers, which have floated in the single digits during most his campaign. Recently, a Florida Atlantic University poll showed him at 10 percent.

King's commercial follows six months of opponent-free air-time for Levine's campaign, which has spent around $8 million on TV ads. The Collective, a political committee backing African American candidates, recently dropped a commercial attacking Graham, but King is the first candidate to join Levine on TV.

South Florida viewers won’t see the ad, since it’s running in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Panama City and West Palm Beach only. But it will be interesting to see if King’s numbers rise, if there’s any consequence for Levine’s polling, and whether Gillum or Graham quickly follow suit.