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FDP announces new hires and expanded capacity

FL Dems Logo
June 16, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Alexandra Caffrey

FDP announces new hires and expanded capacity with eyes toward the 2022 election

Miami, Fla— Today, the Florida Democratic Party announced a slate of new senior staff members, highlighting the party’s commitment to building the most robust, statewide, sustainable infrastructure Florida Democrats have had in decades. The new staff will lead the communications, finance, data, legal and organizing teams at the party and include Senior Communications Advisor, Field and Organizing Director, Voter Registration Director, In-House Counsel, Municipal Victory Program Director, Finance Director, and Deputy Finance Director.

“The Florida Democratic Party is assembling a strong, battle-tested team that knows what has to be done to flip Florida blue. While it is not going to be easy, we are building a team that is ready for the challenge,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz. “With these hires, we are hitting the ground running and building the long term infrastructure and organizing apparatus that we need to defeat Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio and elect Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Marcus Dixon added, “I’m excited to have this caliber of talent committed to helping us turn Florida blue by focusing on registering voters, grassroots organizing that builds and rebuilds relationships with members of the community, holding Republicans accountable, and advocating for Democratic values. These hires show our clear commitment to creating the strongest and most effective state party in recent history before the 2022 elections.”

The new team members are:

Jose Dante Parra – Senior Communications Advisor
José Dante Parra is a Democratic strategist. Before his current position, Parra was a senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Parra led Sen. Reid’s Hispanic Media efforts during his 2010 reelection in Nevada, when the Latino vote was the largest deciding factor in that swing state, and during a very difficult cycle for Democrats. Parra also served as a Latino communications advisor for President Obama’s 2012 reelection and led the Democratic National Convention’s Hispanic media team. Parra moved to Washington, D.C. in 2007 to work for Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA). Parra’s career started at The Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where he covered stories such as the Elian Gonzalez saga and the 2000 Presidential election recount in Florida. In 2003 Parra transitioned to PR and worked at Florida International University in Miami.

Angie Nixon – Field and Organizing Director
Angie Nixon has been organizing in the state of Florida for over a decade. She has also served as a political operative on countless campaigns across the country. In 2016, Angie was the African American Deputy Field Director for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, with oversight of operations in 5 states. She has also managed multiple campaigns at the local, state legislative, and congressional levels including a successful campaign to elect the first Black mayor of Jacksonville, who was also the first Democrat to win in 20 years. She also worked for years with a (c)4 table overseeing a multi-million dollar independent expenditure program in Florida. Angie is also the current State Representative for Florida House District 14. She was previously the Director for the Florida Public Service Union’s Higher Education Campaign and prior to that was the Florida Field Director for SEIU. Additionally, Angie is the founder of The Moxie Group, a community outreach and social impact firm that focuses on empowering underserved and underrepresented communities. She is a native of Jacksonville and a graduate of Stanton College Prep and the University of Florida.

Jorge Mursuli – Voter Registration Director
Jorge has spent his career leading major advocacy and voter engagement campaigns across Florida and the United States. In 1998, Jorge Mursuli led a successful effort to secure the passage of the Miami-Dade County Human Rights Ordinance, making sexual orientation a category protected by law from discrimination. He then joined People For the American Way (PFAW) Foundation and PFAW as the Florida State Director, soon becoming a National Vice President of Hispanic Affairs where he led efforts in election reform, immigration, free speech, and civic engagement. Jorge also founded Democracia USA, a non-partisan civic engagement organization that grew to become one of the most recognized Hispanic voter empowerment, and leadership training programs in the nation. He founded the Latino Donor Collaborative, was the co-founder of the philanthropic Florida Alliance, and was VP and co-founder of Arms with Ethics, working with law enforcement leaders across the country on the reduction of the illegal flow and use of guns. Born in Cuba, Jorge Mursuli immigrated with this family to Brooklyn, New York and received his BS from the University of Florida. Jorge is a proud Rockwood Fellow, class of 2007.

Ben Tyler – In-House Counsel
Ben is a litigator and voting rights advocate who most recently served as a Regional Voter Protection Director for the Biden-Harris Coordinated Campaign in Georgia, where he oversaw the campaign’s voter protection efforts through two statewide recounts in twenty counties. Before heading to Georgia, Ben served on the campaign’s Voter Protection Team in Broward County, Florida. Prior to joining the campaign, Ben served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rodolfo A. Ruiz II in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and worked as a litigator in Holland & Knight LLP’s Miami office. A native of South Florida, Ben is a graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Vanessa Rolon – Municipal Victory Director
Vanessa Rolon is a campaign strategist with almost a decade of on-the-ground campaign experience. Born and raised in Miami, she entered politics as a way to give back to the community she loves. From 2014 to 2016, Vanessa spent time working for candidates in FL-26 and then managed Robert Asensio’s successful campaign for Florida House. Post 2016, campaigns have taken Vanessa to different parts of the country including Delaware, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, and Virginia. In 2019, Vanessa settled in Virginia working as the Data Director for New Virginia Majority where she contributed to flipping the House of Delegates and State Senate blue for the first time in a generation.

Kyle Patterson – Finance Director
Kyle is an experienced Democratic fundraiser who has spent time working on congressional campaigns in Kansas and Michigan. He also previously worked as the Finance Director for the North Dakota Democrats. In addition to political fundraising, Kyle has also worked as a budget policy and legislative advisor for the Rhode Island House Finance Committee and the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. He is originally from Kansas and is a University of Kansas alumnus.

Michelle Sierra – Deputy Finance Director
Prior to joining the Florida Democratic Party, Michelle was the National Finance Assistant on Senator Tammy Duckworth’s re-election campaign, whom she worked with in her previous role as the Northeast Finance Assistant at the DSCC. During her time at the DSCC, Michelle was part of a three-person finance operation that raised over $24 million from individual donors in eight states. A South Florida native, Michelle has two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida and a certificate in Political Campaigning.

~~Kari Lerner, Lee County DEC State Committeewoman

Florida Democratic Party Commemorates 5 Years Since the Pulse Shooting

FL Dems Logo
June 12, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Alexandra Caffrey

Florida Democratic Party Commemorates 5 Years Since the Pulse Shooting

FLORIDA – Today marks 5 years since the devastating shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that took 49 innocent lives. In remembrance, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz released the following statement: 
 
“Five years ago at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, 49 innocent lives were cut off at their prime. Today we mourn and remember those who were killed that awful day and hold their loved ones, survivors, the Orlando community, and the entire Florida LGBTQ+ community in our hearts. Those killed were victims of hatred, homophobia, and the epidemic of gun violence in our country. They should be alive today, and it is our duty to do more than just remember. 
 
“We must recommit to honor them with action by fighting to end hate and homophobia, and by pushing for common sense gun reforms. Our leaders need to offer real change instead of just thoughts and prayers, and we at the Florida Democratic Party will not rest until they do.”

~~Kari Lerner, Lee County DEC State Committeewoman

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: karillerner@gmail.com

 Mike Bonacolta: mikebonacolta@gmail.com

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