FLORIDA – On Thursday afternoon, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz announced the appointment of four outstanding leaders to serve as Vice Chairs of the Florida Democratic Party: former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Dr. Karen Green, SEIU FPSU President Alphonso Mayfield and Orange County Property Appraiser Amy Mercado.
These Vice Chairs will join 1st Vice Chair Judy Mount, Secretary Casmore Shaw and Treasurer Francine Garcia as part of the FDP statewide leadership team. They will assist Chair Diaz in overseeing and advising on the strategy and operations of various functions of our state party.
Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz noted that, “I am excited that these four great leaders have agreed to join our team. They are going to be an invaluable help in building a year-round grassroots organizing program, rebranding the state party, and electing Democrats up and down the ballot— I can’t wait for us to get to work.”
Former Mayor Bob Buckhorn
Mayor of Tampa, Florida from April 2011 until May 2019, Mayor Bob Buckhorn is an innovative public servant and businessman. While Mayor he led the city out of the great recession and annually balanced the budget while making strategic investments; notably, under his leadership, the City of Tampa saw twelve credit rating increases. Mayor Buckhorn also set a tone of inclusivity and access in Tampa–he expanded public wifi access, enacted paid family leave for city employees, and led a redevelopment plan that created more greenspace, making the city more welcoming for all residents. These are just a few of Mayor Buckhorn’s accomplishments during his tenure, and after a successful first term, he was elected to a second term with 95% of the vote. Prior to his service as mayor he served on the city council and worked in public affairs.
Reverend Dr. Karen Green
Dr. Green, a proud Jamaican-born Caribbean American, is a respected political strategist, party activist, social justice advocate, mediator, and humanitarian. She has consistently demonstrated leadership in addressing the pressing socio-political agendas of our time, including but not limited to securing civil liberties for immigrants and minority communities, women’s rights, youth development, and religious freedoms. She most recently served as the Florida Democratic Party’s Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is a Humanitarian Religious Ambassador At-Large with the United Nations. Dr. Green has served as the Caribbean Coalition Director for a number of presidential campaigns, liaison for Democrats Abroad and as advance speaker to President Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama.
President Alphonso Mayfield
Alphonso is a proven leader in Florida’s progressive movement who in a very short time has reestablished the role of public sector unions in Florida by bridging the gap between communities, working families, and elected officials. As President of SEIU Florida Public Services Union for more than 10 years he has successfully championed transformative programs and initiatives that uplift workers and the communities they live in, while at the same time nurturing a powerful statewide infrastructure of organizers, activists, and candidates that are committed to changing Florida’s conservative power structure. Alphonso also has vast experience in grassroots mobilization, political campaigns, and policy initiatives.
Property Appraiser Amy Mercado
Former State Representative Mercado is an effective, trustworthy, results-oriented business leader and Legislator with experience in operations, budget management, leading teams, public policy, and more. Currently, Rep. Mercado is the Orange County Property Appraiser, a position she was elected to in 2020. She previously served as Representative for Florida House District 48 for one term and served as Vice Chair of the Legislative Progressive Caucus. Rep. Mercado is also a working mom of six and a caretaker to an ailing grandparent. She is of Puerto Rican descent, was born and raised in the Bronx, and has called Orange County home since 1996. Prior to her service in elected office, Rep. Mercado worked in healthcare administration, in financial project management, and as an operation director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.