Florida’s House and Senate Democrats have appointed new leaders for the upcoming state legislative session.
Florida’s House Democrats will have two leaders to guide the caucus over the next two years. The chamber’s Democrats elected Rep. Bobby DuBose (D-Fort Lauderdale) Monday as minority leader. DuBose then officially named Rep Evan Jenne (D-Dania Beach) as his co-leader.
“This year has not only been challenging politically, but personally for me," DuBose said. "I was speaking to Rep. [Kamia] Brown today and I told her I can only imagine how Leader [Janet] Cruz and the leaders before us did this in a singular capacity. There’s no way I could have endured or got to this point with out co-leader Jenne on this journey.”
The pair decided to serve as co-leaders rather than face off for the position in an effort to avoid added tensions within the caucus. Some members of the caucus had expressed concerns about the plan when it first came about in April, but during Monday’s caucus meeting, members met the official announcement with cheers and applause.
In the Senate, Gary Farmer (D-Fort Lauderdale) will serve as minority leader. He says he expects healthcare expansion to continue to be a central issue for state Democrats.
“Countless Floridians face the threat of a deadly virus knowing that they lack the ability to seek care should sickness befall them," Farmer said. "Florida is one of only 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid and our failure to do so has left nearly a million Floridians without the health and financial security that would come along with such an expansion—especially during a health crisis.”
The House and Senate will hold organizational sessions Tuesday to swear in newly elected legislators and officially install incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson and incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls.