Congratulations to the new officers of the Florida Democratic Party and the newly elected FDP members heading to the DNC!
The former Mayor of Miami, Manny Diaz, won the Chair on the first ballot taking 54% of the vote. Judy Mount was re-elected as 1st Vice Chair, Casmore Shaw was re-elected as Secretary, and Francine Garcia ran unopposed as Treasurer.
After a very long (9 hours – 19 ballots) and at times contentious Organizational Meeting, the FDP members have elected the new DNC members. The new Florida DNC delegation is historically diverse, including black, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Muslim, and white members. Two are from Central Florida, two from SW Florida, one from the panhandle, and 6 from SE Florida. There are individuals representing the old guard and many more new faces. And there is a mix of progressives and moderates.
The newly elected Florida DNC members are:
Nadia Ahmad, Grace Carrington, Alan Clendenin, Marcus Dixon, Samantha Harrington, Thomas Kennedy, Sanjay Patel, Terrie Rizzo, Vivian Rodriguez, Sean Shaw, and Steve Simeonidis. Chair Manny Diaz and 1st Vice Chair Judy Mount are automatically DNC members by the positions they hold.
Lee County DEC State Committeeman Mike Bonacolta will be the Chair for the Congressional District 19 Committee, and Lee County DEC State Committeewoman Kari Lerner will be Vice Chair. These positions were agreed upon by consensus with the Collier County State Committeepersons who share that Congressional District. These roles put Bonacolta and Lerner on the FDP Central Committee. Additionally, they are charged with organizing the voting for delegates from CD 19.
January 9th will be the Florida Democratic Party State Organizational Meeting, where the Officers and DNC representatives will be elected. Candidates for Chair in alphabetical order are:
Nikki Barnes – Current DNC Member
Dr. Cynthia Chestnut – Chair, Alachua County DEC
Mayor Manny Diaz – Former Mayor of Miami
Wes Hodge – Chair, Orange County DEC
Ione Townsend – Chair, Hillsborough County DEC
Mike is endorsing Ione Townsend for Chair, Kari is not. Please know that your State Committeepersons will vote for the candidate they believe has the highest qualifications & who will best serve the interests of the Lee County DEC.
The ballot has not yet been distributed to us, so we will not list the candidates for 1st Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and DNC Members at this time. However, it should be noted that both Dr. Janelle Christensen, Chair of the Florida Environmental Caucus and Sandra McClinton, Chair of Chairs for the Democratic Women’s Clubs of Florida are local Democrats running for DNC.
Next week we will be posting the full results of the election.
—Kari Lerner and Mike Bonacolta
Mike & Kari would like to thank you for your votes and hope to assure all, whether or not you voted for us, that we will make every effort to be transparent and accessible to the Democrats of Lee County. The mission of the Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Lee County is to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Although they may not always agree, Kari & Mike both pledge that all decisions will be made with that mission as the determining factor and welcome your input.
Kari Lerner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Bonacolta: email@example.com