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The Latest: Florida Democrats debate Trump and guns

August 3, 2018
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Democratic gubernatorial candidates, from left, Andrew Gillum, Jeff Greene, Chris King, Philip Levine and Gwen Graham await the start of a debate ahead of the Democratic primary for governor, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Florida Democrats holding their final debate (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Democrats running for Florida governor are vowing to stand up to President Donald Trump if they are elected this fall.

The five Democratic candidates on Tuesday held their final debate before the Aug. 28 primary. Many of the candidates not only criticized Trump but also GOP Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature. Besides Trump, the candidates debated guns, taxes and the state’s recent toxic algal blooms.

All five pledge to repeal Florida’s contentious ‘stand your ground law.’ That law allows people to use deadly force if they believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

A Florida sheriff recently cited the law as the reason he did not charge a white man who shot an unarmed black man during a parking lot dispute.

The primary winner will face either Congressman Ron DeSantis or Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who are seeking the Republican nomination. Scott cannot seek a third term because of limits.

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7:30 p.m.

Democrats running for Florida governor are sharply criticizing the National Rifle Association and say it has too much clout in state government.

The five Democratic candidates held their final debate on Thursday. Several candidates lashed out at the NRA and vowed to enact more gun control measures if elected.

Businessman Jeff Greene called the NRA “repulsive,” while former Congresswoman Gwen Graham promised to issue an executive order that would ban military-styled assault weapons on her first day in office. Graham said NRA would sue her over the ban, but she said “bring it on.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum pointed out that he had been previously been sued over gun regulations and that he would “fight back” if elected.

The NRA criticism came up during a question over school safety.

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12:37 a.m.

The five Democratic candidates for Florida governor are having their final debate.

The Florida Press Association is sponsoring Thursday night’s debate in Palm Beach Gardens between former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessmen Jeff Greene and Chris King. They have a town hall scheduled next week in Jacksonville.

Recent polls show the race is tight. The debate is being shown in 10 markets and livestreamed at www.wpbf.com starting at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The winner of the Aug. 28 primary will face either Congressman Ron DeSantis or Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who are seeking the Republican nomination.

Incumbent Republican Rick Scott cannot seek a third term because of limits.

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