Florida Democrats Searching For New Direction After Latest Loss

The Democrats in the state of Florida need an energetic new leader.

A week ago Democrats in the state of Florida were blown out as Republican Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio rolled to a big win over Patrick Murphy.

The Florida Democratic Party is on a losing streak of epic proportions. The governor’s office, the state house and the state senate all belong to the GOP in the Sunshine State.

Last week Democratic Party Chairwoman, Allison Tant announced that she would be stepping down in January. While, she was an effective fundraiser since she got the role in 2013 after she raised money to help reelect President Barack Obama in 2012.

Democrats around the state are lining up to get the top spot in rebuilding the Florida Democratic that once ruled the Sunshine State for decades. The list of those interested in running for the job in January is impressive and covers a number of areas of the state.

Former state senator and South Florida based lawyer Dan Gelber, is reportedly exploring throwing his hat into the ring. He has been a vocal critic of Republicans Rick Scott and Pam Bondi. The 55-year-old unsuccessfully ran for attorney general in 2010, losing to Bondi.

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Another possible candidate for the position is Alan Clendenin, the state committeeman from Hillsborough County. The county has been one of the bright spots for the Democrats as they broke big for Clinton over Trump.

Meanwhile, Annette Taddeo, who was the party’s lieutenant governor nominee in 2014 and recently lost a bid for Congress, is interested in the opening. Also, being mentioned as possible candidates include, Susannah Randolph is in the mix, while the Miami Herald reported former state Sen. Dwight Bullard said he would like to chair the party.

The biggest battle that the new Florida Democratic Party chairperson will to get Sen. Bill Nelson reelected. He is currently the ranking member on the Commerce Committee and remains one of the most respected legislators in Washington. The Democrats can’t lose that senate seat and they will need to do some heavy work to keep the seat.

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Also, 2018 is a big year for the Democratic Party in Florida as they have their eyes on winning the governorship. The last time that happened was back in 1994, when Jeb Bush lost his first run for governor to incumbent Gov. Lawton Chiles.

In the state Legislature, Florida Democrats not only lost districts that broke for Republican President-elect Donald Trump, but also districts where voters split their ticket between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and down-ballot Republicans.

So, clearly to rebuild the Florida Democratic Party they need to pick a dynamic leader who can get them back in the game. The state is ripe for the Obama Coalition, but the party will need to pick the right person to guide them back to relevance.




Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.