Siegel steps aside (again), endorses Rod Smith for Fla. Democratic chairmanby George Bennett | November 24th, 2010
“Rod Smith has set the stage for our rebirth as a modern, inclusive grassroots party which can fulfill the hopes and dreams of its many dedicated workers and constituencies,” Siegel said in a statement released by Smith.
Smith’s main rival for the job now appears to be Tallahassee City Commissioner and People For the American Way Foundation operative Andrew Gillum, who anticipated Siegel’s endorsement this morning and downplayed its significance.
“This race is about more than doing whatever it takes to seal one or two endorsements, it’s about giving the Florida Democratic Party the fresh start we need to win elections,” Gillum said. “I respect the senior members of our party, but I believe that we are in a new era that demands an open process that will energize our base.”
For those of you following from home, Siegel announced shortly after the midterm election wipeout that he was interested in the job, then said he’d probably stand aside for Smith, then said last week he was back in the running because Smith didn’t appear to have the necessary support nailed down.
Here’s a complete statement issued by Rod Smith’s chairman campaign:
Smith Gains Support of Leading State Chair Contenders
Principles for Democratic Party’s Future is Basis of Agreement
The three leaders in the race for Florida Democratic Party Chair have reached agreement to build an “inclusive, responsible Democratic Party that stands for something”.
Their agenda, based on suggestions from party leaders throughout Florida, includes, drafting a party platform, emphasizing County Development in all 67 counties, increasing minority participation at all leadership levels, developing democratic procedures for the state and its local units to consider supporting candidates and drawing on the tremendous capabilities of Democrats to provide leadership at all levels for many tasks now left undone.
“I welcome the reform program so many of our state and county leaders have been discussing. Mark and Alan have worked with me to give it real substance and will help me develop the details and assure effective implementation,” said Rod Smith, the former Alachua State Senator and State Attorney who has drawn support from many counties, as well as leading elected officials.
Hillsborough State Committeeman and DNC member Alan Clendenin said “The Florida Democratic Party has never, and will never be about any one individual. This election is about doing what is best for our Party and our state. Rod Smith embraced many of the reforms I proposed. He is a proven leader, committed to reorganize and rebuild the Florida Democratic Party. I full support his candidacy and I urge all Florida Democrats to unite behind him.”
“Rod Smith has set the stage for our rebirth as a modern, inclusive grassroots party which can fulfill the hopes and dreams of its many dedicated workers and constituencies.” declared Mark Alan Siegel, Palm Beach County Party chair. “The Palm Beach state committee delegation and I are proud to support him for State Chair for the balance of Karen Thurman’s term.”