Rod Smith new Dem chief? ‘I believe I’ll be the appointee’by Dara Kam | November 18th, 2010
Despite grumblings from Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel to the contrary, former state Sen. Rod Smith insists he’ll be the next state party chairman.
“I believe I’ll be the appointee,” said Smith, a Gainesville-area former prosecutor who most recently was Alex Sink’s running-mate in her losing bid for governor.
His bid to replace Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman, who is retiring, got a boost yesterday when an officer of the Alachua County party stepped down to make room for Smith.
Smith would have to be elected the chairman of the county executive committee or state committee man before he can be eligible to run as head of the FDP.
Once that happens, Smith said he’ll continue to build support from activists, donors and other county leaders.
“It’s a process that’s ongoing. It sometimes appears slow and ponderous but it’s an important process that allows people to have input about their concerns,” Smith, 61, said.
Smith’s already got a plan to get his party back on track after Dems got a drubbing in Florida elections, losing state House and Senate and Congressional seats and the governor’s race considered critical to President Obama’s reelection in 2012.
“I’m going to focus on the issues of fundraising, reapportionment strategy, candidate recruitment and of course reelection campaigns of president and senator (Bill Nelson),” Smith said.
Earlier this week, some South Florida Democrats made a push for Joe Garcia, who lost a Congressional race to David Rivera, to take the post. But that is unlikely to happen because Miami-Dade County Dems in leadership roles aren’t doing what their Alachua counterparts did for Smith to make him eligible to run.