Will Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade run for Senate in Florida in 2024?
We cannot confirm whether Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade plan to run for a Senate seat in Florida during the 2024 election, but the Democrats ponder on that
In recent years, the Democratic Party in Florida has faced challenges in winning elections. The party’s last success in a Senate race was in 2012 when Bill Nelson was re-elected; however, in 2018, Rick Scott defeated him. Moreover, Democrats have not held the Governor’s Mansion or either chamber of the Legislature since the 1990s, suggesting a prolonged period of political isolation for the party in the state.
Some influential members of the Democratic party and key donors are advocating for a competent candidate to contest the Republican stronghold in the state. Governor Ron DeSantis won his re-election by a considerable margin. Nevertheless, these individuals recognize that finding a suitable candidate may prove challenging.
There is a growing sentiment within the party that a potential solution to shift the political narrative would be to find a candidate who is widely recognized and well-liked within the state and has the financial means to self-fund their campaign. Some are considering this option as a way to reset the course of the party’s future.
During a dinner held at the home of prominent Democratic official Bob Mandell, renowned trial lawyer and national Democratic donor John Morgan raised the idea of former NBA star Grant Hill running for Senate. Morgan, based in Orlando, discussed the potential candidacy with Larry Grisolano, another high-ranking Democratic party member in attendance.
“Grant Hill has a great name ID. He would raise a boatload of money and is one of the smartest guys you will ever meet,” said John Morgan, an Orlando-based trial attorney and national Democratic donor, who has spoken directly with Hill about his desire for him to run. “Grant Hill would beat the s--- out of Rick Scott.”
Former NBA player Grant Hill, who spent seven seasons with the Orlando Magic and currently resides in the Orlando area, has not been extensively involved in politics in a public capacity. However, he campaigned alongside Hillary Clinton in Jacksonville during the 2016 election cycle and publicly criticized former President Donald Trump. In 2019, Hill spoke out against comments made by Trump that disparaged the city of Baltimore.
Democratic donor groups are also actively considering recruiting former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade to run for the Senate. Aside from his status as a well-known figure in the state, Wade has become a vocal advocate for transgender rights. His 15-year-old daughter, Zaya, is a transgender model and activist, and Wade has publicly supported her.
This is a particularly contentious issue, as Republicans have introduced a wave of legislation targeting the transgender community. In Florida alone, more than 15 anti-trans bills were filed by Republicans during the 2023 legislative session, prompting Wade to leave the state.
“My family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there,” Wade said on Showtime’s “Headliners with Rachel Nichols” last month. “And so that’s one of the reasons why I do not live there.”
There has been talking about basketball legend Dwyane Wade potentially entering the political scene in Florida, according to Ray Paultre, the executive director of the Florida Alliance - a well-known progressive donor group involved in Democratic politics in the state. Paultre highlighted Wade’s popularity in Florida and his impressive leadership skills on and off the court as factors that make him an appealing candidate. Although Wade has not been formally approached about running for office, he is reportedly one of many highly sought-after individuals being considered to challenge Republican incumbent Rick Scott.
Paultre explained that several groups are actively searching for potential candidates, but he could not provide details on specific conversations. He did confirm that these groups are working to engage with all individuals under consideration. Additionally, Paultre noted that athletes from both parties have historically brought unique perspectives and qualities to the political arena.