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Jeff Greene made his fortune in real estate, and now the Palm Beach billionaire says it is time for him to put that money into action.
His goal: become the next governor of Florida. And he says he’ll spend whatever it takes of his own money to make that happen.
“I am not taking a penny from special interests. I have one special interest, the group of people that I am going to be fighting for, and that is the people of Florida,” said Greene, who will be running as a Democrat, in an interview with Eyewitness News.
Greene says he will focus on putting more money into education, including raises for Florida teachers. He says this can be accomplished by trimming the state budget in other places and looking at rollbacks of fee reductions and other incentives put into place by the Florida Legislature over the last 20 years.
“I’m a product of public schools in Worcester, Massachusetts and I know I would have never gotten into Johns Hopkins University had it not been for the education I received in public school,” says Greene.
“Look at Rick Scott, every time we have a had a surplus in this state, instead of putting it into building the human capitol needs of this state, he’s put it into a modest tax cut. Sure, we would all like to pay $12 less at the DMV, but if I have a choice of having an educated population, I’m going to put it into that.”
With a personal fortune in excess of $2 billion, Greene says he is committed to spending as much as $200 million in the primary and pledged to spend whatever it takes in the general election to win the race, saying he’ll invest in Democrats up and down the ballot.
“Democrats in Florida have been drastically outspent for the last eight years, and we have lost -- that ends today,” says Greene.
Greene joins other Democratic candidates already in the race including Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Orlando businessman Chris King, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.
Florida's Democratic primary is set for Aug. 28.