Florida Democrats Ready For 2020

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo Florida Democrats Ready For 2020

Terrie Rizzo – Florida Democratic Party Chair

Tallahassee – One year out from the general election, the Florida Democratic Party is laying out how it is preparing for 2020, and how it is on track to register 200,000 voters by next July.

After progressive Democrat Ron Feinsod won the race for mayor in the “deep red” city of Venice, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune asked, “Is Venice mayor’s race a warning sign for Trump in Florida?” Democratic turnout and engagement are at an all-time high in Sarasota – which made the difference in flipping the seat from red-to-blue.
This came after a weekend of action by the Florida Democratic Party to mark one-year to the 2020 election. On November 5, Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party published an opinion piece on the party’s plan to defeat Trump in the Sun-Sentinel, and Wednesday spoke at a forum with the chair of the Florida Republican party about the election with the Tampa Bay Times.
With now less than a year out, FDP has built the infrastructure needed to set-up the eventual nominee for success. The party has already invested $5.2 million in the campaign for the 2020 – with a staff that is now over 90 and has invested nearly a million dollars in outreach to communities of color.
The Florida Democratic Party touted Feinsod’s win as one of their most significant victories statewide during the off-year election.
“This win is a testament to the work of our local Sarasota Democratic Party in partnership with the Florida Democratic Party’s Municipal Victory Program,” FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo said in a statement. “We know that when we recruit quality candidates and invest in their campaigns we win at every level!”
Others pointed to the win as a sign that there is a broader problem for Republicans.
Sarasota Democratic activist Gabriel Hament tweeted that the “walls are closing in” for the Sarasota GOP and that the party is “losing control.”
“There is now a multi-alarm fire raging in Sarasota County,” Hament wrote. “Deep red Venice now has a Democratic Mayor!”
Feinsod’s victory is noteworthy because southern Sarasota County is one of the most Republican areas of the state. It is heavily populated with older, white voters who came out strong for President Donald Trump in 2016. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/07]
Out of the gate, the two argued about the implications of Tuesday night’s elections in Kentucky and Virginia, two states where Democrats scored big wins in states that were Republican strongholds in the 2016 Presidential election.
Gruters blamed the Republicans gubernatorial defeat in Kentucky on the party running a bad candidate. He said losing the state house in Virginia was no surprise and was even expected.
“Candidates matter and the Republican governor that was defeated last night had the lowest approval rating in the entire country,” Gruters said. “Virginia was no surprise.”
Rizzo joked back, applauding Gruters by saying “what a great spin.”
She continued: “I think blue is in the air and the results I think show it and it shows that candidates do matter. We had a major candidate, who had come in the day before and had a major rally, and we had a Democratic governor elected.” [Tampa Bay Times, 11/07]
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