Across Florida
What's happening on other political blogs?

Karen Thurman’

Fla Dems’ spokesman moving on

Friday, July 29th, 2011 by John Kennedy

Three years of speaking on behalf of the Florida Democratic Party, apparently is enough for Eric Jotkoff.

The state party spokesman said Friday that he plans to put aside his Blackberry for a while before moving onto the next opportunity. Jotkoff’s replacement is expected to be named Monday, said the departing spokesman, who plans to stay on another couple weeks.

Jotkoff served under two party chairs, Karen Thurman and her successor, Rod Smith. He also was a Smith spokesman when the former Alachua state senator ran for governor in 2006.

Quick with the quote, tweet or email, Jotkoff on Friday fondly recalled Democratic successes with the Obama campaign in Florida, and Republican missteps with disgraced former House Speaker Ray Sansom and criminally charged ex-GOP chairman Jim Greer.

“Over the next few weeks, I will be taking some time off to relax and recharge before announcing my future plans. I look forward to spending several weeks without having my Blackberry basically surgically attached to my hand because I won’t need to respond to the scandal de jour,” Jotkoff’s wrote in signing off.

 

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.

Rod Smith to announce Monday he wants to be new top Dem

Friday, November 12th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Former state Sen. Rod Smith will announce Monday he’s ready to take over the helm of the Florida Democratic Party as a replacement for Karen Thurman, who resigned today.

Smith, just off the campaign trail after running as Alex Sink’s running mate in her losing bid for governor, said he’s trying to build a consensus among Democrats smarting from major losses in this month’s elections in Florida and nationally.

Apart from Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s victory, Republicans swept the Florida Cabinet and nailed down a veto-proof super-majority in both the state House and Senate.

“I’m going to try to create a culture of success,” said Smith, a Gainesville lawyer and former prosecutor who earned a reputation as a dynamic orator during his tenure as a state senator.

Smith said he’s trying to get the support of a handful of other Democrats who’ve thrown their hats in the ring to replace Karen Thurman, who resigned today.

“I want to be a unifier. I don’t want to create division,” said Smith, a “This isn’t like a lot of campaigns. This is about trying to make sure that you first do no harm. Right now I’m focusing on trying to convince people that this is the right thing to do for me and for the party but I also remain open to listening to people’s concerns.”

Smith, who’s got behind-the-scenes backing of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, said he’s already won the support of Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel, who said Friday he’ll support Smith’s bid.

Whoever takes over for Thurman has their work cut out for them, said Broward County Democratic Chairman Mitch Ceasar.
(more…)

Dem chairwoman Thurman quitting

Friday, November 12th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman is stepping down after the drubbing Democrats received on Election Day in the Sunshine State and throughout the nation.

Democrats have been demanding Thurman’s resignation after Republicans swept the Cabinet, the governor’s race and secured a veto-proof majority in both the state House and Senate.

Only 51 Democrats remain in the 160 seats in the legislature although Democratic voters still outnumber Republicans in Florida.

Former state Sen. Rod Smith, who was losing gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink’s running-mate, is chief among those in line to replace Thurman, a former U.S. Rep. who’s served as chairwoman for six years.

Palm Beach County Dem chair ‘interested’ in state post if Thurman leaves

Thursday, November 4th, 2010 by George Bennett

Siegel

Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel denounced Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Ring and others calling for Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman’s resignation after Tuesday’s electoral bloodbath.

But if Thurman decides to step down in the middle of her four-year term, Siegel says he’s interested in her job.

“If she does retire, yes, I’m interested,” Siegel said.

(more…)

State Dem party leader Thurman should step down, senator says

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by Dara Kam

After getting trounced in the Florida House and Senate races and a GOP sweep of the Cabinet, state Sen. Jeremy Ring is demanding that Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman resign.

“With the momentum of all the losses on the Democratic sides, there needs to be new leadership. Karen Thurman needs to resign. Immediately,” Ring, D-Margate, said of the Florida Democratic Party chairwoman early today.

Republicans swept the Cabinet seats and won a veto-proof majority in both the state Senate and ultimately recaptured the governor’s seat after Palm Beach County’s election returns left Rick Scott’s victory in the lurch overnight.

Ring, a moderate Democrat who frequently votes with Republicans, said the “election activities of the Republicans trumping the Democrats” at polling places he visited on Election Day demonstrate that his party is in a shambles.

“Whether it was hundreds of more signs and volunteers and palm cards and all the precincts covered, I didn’t see any coordinated effort on the Democratic side yesterday,” Ring said.

Ring was among several prominent Democrats who tried to oust Thurman when she was reelected as chairwoman two years ago.

Those efforts failed because no replacement could be found, Ring said.

He blamed Thurman for that.

“Part of any leader’s job is not to only raise money and recruit candidates but they should recruit their successor…part of her job is to have a succession plan. Clearly there isn’t one,” he said.

Florida political tweeters
Video: Politics stories
Categories
Archives