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Allison Tant elected chairwoman of Florida Democratic Party in contentious vote

by George Bennett | January 26th, 2013

LAKE MARY — Florida Democrats elected Tallahassee fundraiser Allison Tant as party chairman this morning, capping the most contentious leadership race the party has seen in decades.

Tant won on a 587-to-448 vote over Hillsborough County Committeeman Alan Clendenin.

Tant, 51, has raised money for President Barack Obama and other Democrats. She was elected chairwoman of the Leon County Democratic Party in December, but does not have a long history with grass-roots activists around the state. She was backed by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and most of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation.

Her supporters stressed her fundraising prowess, noting Florida Democrats’ traditional financial disadvantage against Republicans.

“One number should worry you – 70 million. That is how much Rick Scott spent in 2010. We need to be prepared and have the resources and grass-roots movement to match this,” said Miami-Dade Democratic Chairwoman Annette Taddeo in nominating Tant.

Clendenin, 53, is a retired air traffic controller and labor activist who appealed to the grass-roots activists who control most of the votes under the state party’s weighted voting system.

“Does our party belong to a group of Tallahassee insiders, consultants and lobbyists — or does it belong to us?” Clendenin said in his speech to voters this morning.

Palm Beach County, which controlled 82 votes in the race, supplied considerable drama. State Committeeman John Ramos joined other South Florida committeemen and committeewomen in pledging support for Clendenin this month. But a few days later, Ramos announced he was backing Tant. He wavered over the last two weeks, but today said he cast his 41 votes for Tant.

7 Responses to “Allison Tant elected chairwoman of Florida Democratic Party in contentious vote”

  1. Sharks Says:

    Let me get this. The Democrats voted for their chair the same lady that worked for Choice Point in 2000 (who didn’t count Ds votes in 2000) and who is married to Bush’s lawyer in defending the loss in 2000?

    Thanks Democrats…Republicans are set for the next decade!!!!!

  2. Recall Ramoz Says:

    Ramos ignored the will of his constituents. See ya!

  3. Mike Says:

    Recall Ramos…so dumb these people.

  4. moishe Says:

    all these politicians with their behind the scenes wheeling and dealing snf spinning BS to the public are the sleaziest people God ever created.

  5. Koch Brother Says:

    DUMP SOTT DUMP RUBIO!!

    Dems; GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!!

  6. Koch Brother Says:

    SCOTT

  7. Dave Says:

    Just wait until they push Crist….let’s see how many end up in the slammer

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