CLEARWATER (FOX) - All five Democratic candidates for governor were in Clearwater Sunday afternoon to speak out against Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
The rally, partially organized by civil rights leader Al Sharpton in the wake of the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton, drew more than 400 people.
The candidates running to replace Gov. Rick Scott had one clear message: Change.
“I think I stand for myself and all of the candidates for governor when I say that if any of us become governor, we will repeal this horrible law,” said Philip Levine, former mayor of Miami Beach.
The candidates stood next to Rev. Al Shaprton as he spoke out against the law that allowed McGlockton’s shooter to not face charges thus far. For some of the candidates, it was personal.
“He had three small children, I have three small children, he had two songs, I have two sons,” said businessman Chris King.
Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham tried to draw from her own experiences as a mother.
“I come today as a mom, and somebody that is a mom cannot even imagine the heartbreak the family of Markeis must feel for the loss of their son.”
The push to make this a campaign issue hasn’t come without criticism. Last week, State Senator Dennis Baxley told FOX 13 that the tragedy is starting to become politicized.
“They’re trying to draw some sort of implication or division that’s not there. This isn’t about firearms, it’s about the rights to protect yourself from harm when you’re attacked.”
Jeff Greene, Palm Beach businessman, disagrees.
“I’m not politicizing anything,” answered Greene. “I’ve been against Stand Your Ground the first time I heard that ridiculous law existed.”
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he wants to see this case tried in court, not in a parking lot
“In the state of Florida, we allow vigilantes to take the law into their own hands; to become judge, jury, and executor. Stand Your Ground has no place in civilized society, period.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has turned the case over to the state attorney’s office. There is no word when that office will make any announcement about possible charges.