Williams, Pafford contest shaping up for top House Dem postby John Kennedy | September 24th, 2013
Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, joined the contest Tuesday for incoming House Democratic Leader, adding his name to that of West Palm Beach Rep. Mark Pafford in seeking the 2014-16 post.
The 44-member Democratic caucus is set to meet beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Williams, like Pafford, were both elected in 2008 and are positioned to replace Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, who was tossed out as incoming leader on a 24-17 vote Monday night.
Rouson had run afoul of party leaders and most of the caucus for establishing a fund-raising committee outside the Florida Democratic Party.
Pafford initially looked like he might be the only contender. The Democrat who lost earlier this year to Rouson, Rep. Mia Jones, D-Jacksonville, said Tuesday that she would not run and endorsed Pafford saying, “he will right this ship.”
Williams entry, however, is seen as a sign that some in the caucus are wary about Pafford, seeing him as too far to the political left. The leader’s job involves candidate recruiting and fund-raising, and some Democrats view Williams as having a stronger bond with the Capitol’s lobbying corps.