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Randolph, who antagonized GOP, to seek Fla Dem top spot

by John Kennedy | May 29th, 2012

Rep. Scott Randolph, an Orlando Democrat who has regularly antagonized House Republicans with his biting floor debate, announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election this fall in a district dramatically redrawn district following this spring’s redistricting.

Instead, Randolph said he will focus on his candidacy for state Democratic Party chairman and efforts to deny Republican Gov. Rick Scott a re-election victory in 2014.

“I am proud of my legislative service,” Randolph said. “For six years I fought back against a radical agenda that continues to shift the tax burden to the middle class, that has shrunk Florida’s commitment to spending on Florida’s students in public schools, and which has led an unrelenting attack on women and all of Florida’s families.”

Randolph’s most memorable moment in Tallahassee may have come when he lashed out in debate against proposed tougher abortion laws by noting that the Republican-ruled Legislature put more focus on protecting businesses from regulation than women’s rights.

Given that, Randolph said, his wife should “incorporate her uterus,” to avoid GOP interference. He was later warned by Republican leaders not to talk about body parts on the House floor.

Randolph’s wife, Susannah, leads Florida Watch Action, a Democratic-leaning grassroots group and is former campaign manager for former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando. She also heads the Pink Slip Rick effort, a kind of flash-mob campaign critical of Gov. Rick Scott.

Randolph has been chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, but is looking to succeed former state Sen. Rod Smith as Florida Democratic Party chairman next year. The House District 47 seat Randolph now lives in has gone from Democratic leaning to a toss-up district. Randolph said three-quarters of the residents there don’t live in the district he has served since 2006.

In announcing he would not seek re-election, Randolph endorsed former Orange County Commissioner Linda Stewart for the seat. Former Rep. Bob Brooks of Winter Park is among two Republicans running for the seat.

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