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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.

(more…)

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.

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