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Former U.S. Rep. Ron Klein takes leadership position at Florida Democratic Party

Friday, February 15th, 2013 by Dara Kam

Klein

Former U.S. Rep. Ron Klein is taking a top fundraising spot at the Florida Democratic Party.

Klein, a Boca Raton lawyer ousted from Congress in 2010 by former U.S. Rep. Allen West, will take over as chairman of the state party’s Board of Trustees, according to a press release issued by FDP Chairwoman Allison Tant.

Veteran Democratic fundraiser Andrew Weinstein, a Coral Gables lawyer who served on President Obama’s national finance team, will be the party’s new finance chairman. The appointments are part of FDP Chairwoman Allison Tant’s restructuring of the party since she took over as its chief late last month.

“I couldn’t be more excited that Ron and Andrew are coming on board. They’re proven fundraisers and longtime veterans of Democratic campaigns. And they’re just as focused as I am on defeating Governor Rick Scott and electing Florida Democrats in 2014, 2016, and beyond,” Tant said on the blog.

Klein served as two terms in Congress and 14 years in the state legislature, including a stint as Senate Democratic Leader.

Rod Smith new Dem chief? ‘I believe I’ll be the appointee’

Thursday, November 18th, 2010 by Dara Kam

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.

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Rod Smith not a done deal as Fla Dem chief

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Some Democrats are pulling together a serious challenge to former state Sen. Rod Smith’s bid to succeed Karen Thurman as head of the Florida Democratic Party.

A handful of major South Florida donors are pushing Joe Garcia, a Miami lawyer and former Public Service Commissioner who just lost a Congressional race to David Rivera.

Dems backing Garcia want a Hispanic in charge of the party to help corral Latino voters who were so crucial to President Obama’s election two years ago.

Watch to see if Garcia gets added to the Miami-Dade County Democratic Executive Committee over the next few weeks.

Garcia would have to join the DEC and get elected the chairman or state committee man before he can run as head of the FDP. That means one of the two Democrats who hold those posts would have to resign to make room for Garcia.

Guv race ad wars: Dems run two new ads blasting Scott

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 by Dara Kam

The Florida Democratic Party released two new TV ads today, one a hard-hitting attack piece bashing GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott and the other a softer piece promoting opponent Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

The first ad, titled “Trust,” features clips from television news reports of Scott evading reporters asking questions about the $1.7 billion in fines Scott’s former company Columbia/HCA was forced to pay the federal government for Medicare fraud.

It ends with a reporter asking Scott “The question is how could you have missed such an abuse by your own company?”
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Democratic Governors’ Assoc. gives cash infusion to Fla Dems for Sink race

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 by Dara Kam

The Democratic Governors Association gave Florida Democrats a $2 million cash infusion to aid Alex Sink in her race against Rick Scott, Politico is reporting this morning.

According to Politico, the DGA wired the cash into the Florida Democratic Party’s account and will be spent on television ads.

Democrats nationally are eying the Florida race with the hope that Chief Financial Officer Sink can score a coup for Democrats, who’ve been out of the governor’s mansion since former Lt. Gov. Buddy McKay lost to Jeb Bush in 1998. Sink’s husband Bill McBride made a losing against Bush four years later.

Scott spent more than $50 million of his own money – much of it on advertising – to defeat Attorney General Bill McCollum in the GOP primary last month.

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