Allison Tant’s insider campaign for FDP Chair has continued to squeeze party leaders into support. Not only is DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz making calls to state committee members but other elected officials such as Congressman Ted Deutch are doing so as well. Yet, these calls have done little to move votes in the past week. After an initial splash where Tant’s allies were able to realign a large numbers of voters in the January 26th election, Alan Clendenin’s support on the grassroots level has hardened to stronger levels than before Tant’s entry into the race. The assumption made by many that Tant would have this race wrapped up by now has not come pass, leaving party insiders perplexed.
Frustration continues to fester on the grassroots level that the party is being controlled by a group of kingmakers in Tallahassee while the party’s infrastructure continues to crumble. This is not a new concern, as in the past well qualified potential state chairs like Brett Berlin and Doug Courtney were pushed out of the way for a strictly political choices. Many on the local level, particularly in central and southern Florida are tired of this happening, and have resolved to back Clendenin strongly to send an indisputable message to the party leadership.
While Democrats have fallen into a helpless minority posture in the legislature and have a statewide record in Governor & Cabinet elections since 2000 that is the worst of any state east of the Mississippi, Tallahassee based lobbyists and consultants have in coordination with elected officials have concocted various schemes to keep control of the party apparatus. The feeling is that they have done little if anything to support local DECs, even in Florida’s most vote rich counties and continue a trend of hiring inexperienced staff whose world view tends to revolve around the State Capitol building and lobbyists in the area. No doubt these lobbyists and consultants have a role to play, but they should not have complete control over the party apparatus as they have now for more than a decade. The staff can be properly trained if given a real plan to work from and ideas about what goes on politically outside of the second congressional district.
The Tallahassee centric group has provided no plan of action on how to restructure or revitalize a party who is consistently losing elections inspite of favorable demographic, voter registration and ideological attitudes in the state. Clendenin has provided such a plan that would help enable DECs and activists across the state.
The vote for FDP Chair will be held January 26th in Lake Mary. Based on the weighted voting procedures of the FDP, the most important counties to secure support from in the race are in order, Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Hillsborough. The last six chairs of the Florida Democratic Party have come from outside this important bloc of counties, and the last four (and five of the last six) have come from north of the Orlando Metropolitan Area. The last six chairs have all come from counties with under 250,000 registered voters. Should Tant be elected, she would continue this trend away from large urbanized counties at the very same time as Democrats as a party are becoming almost entirely reliant on these places to win elections.
8 thoughts on “FDP Chairs Race: Grassroots Activists Sticking with Clendenin”
I feel like these are your opinions. Just because you say, “politicians in Central Florida” feel a certain way does not make it true. Repetition of lies doesn’t make them truths, it just makes them repetitions.
I’m not for Clendenin because of him personally. I am against the Tally mob and support his candidacy for this reason.
My backing Clendenin has to do with several factors:
1- the Tallahassee crowd & most state legislators haven’t a clue how to fix this party
2- Clendenin actually has a written plan to fix this broken party
3- He’d regionalize the party and revitalize the grassroots
4- Isn’t another chair based in Tallahassee counterproductive
5- We have only 35% of legislative seats AFTER a favorable reapportionment
6- DWS does not need to choose the FDP Chair
7- About time we had some diversity in backgrounds for a chair. Union member rather than politician or political insider
8- It is about time we have a chair from an urban area
9- It is about time we stopped letting lobbyists and lawyers pick our chair
10- If this were a real business, given our losing streak every staffer and influence peddler would either be fired or marginalized. Instead we keep going back to the same thing that got us in this mess
Unfortunately I am not a state committeeman so I cannot vote in this election.
We have lined up several counties that will support Clendenin. Rural counties want a seat at the table and those in Tallahassee ignore this group.
Fantastic! The small counties deserve some representation as do the medium sized counties in and around the I-4 corridor that were written off years ago by the state party. I’ll never forget telling an FDP official that I was working Manatee County and he told me to not go there because we’d wake up all the Republicans. That’s the attitude towards anything they do not directly control or have knowledge about.
Unfortunately, the grassroots are not the electors of the FDP Chair. We don’t get a vote. It’s our DEC Chairs and State Committeewomen/men who vote. Most of these bow down to Sen Nelson and Rep Wasserman Schultz.
What we need is more progressives with gumption to get rid of the “business as usual’ crowd that control the FDP. Lets hope that Tant will bend our way when she wins this election.
Actually, the DEC Chairs don’t even have a vote! Isn’t that crazy?!
It is your responsibility to press your State Committeeman/woman and convince them that they don’t have to give in the the pressure of DWS and Nelson. We have shown that if we keep the pressure on, we will win. They do not have this election all sewed up.
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